gray market


Definition of gray market

: a market employing irregular but not illegal methods especially : a market that legally circumvents authorized channels of distribution to sell goods at prices lower than those intended by the manufacturer

Examples of gray market in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, the FBI recently used a gray market hardware box called GrayKey to open an iPhone 11 Pro Max in connection with another investigation, according to Forbes. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple locks down a $200 million A.I. investment, as the Trump administration demands keys to the iPhone’s ‘backdoor’," 18 Jan. 2020 And ultimately, if these businesses are too costly to operate, the illicit and gray markets will continue to thrive. Dan Adams,, "Your marijuana delivery is here — now smile for the body cam," 14 Aug. 2019 The tax incentives have fostered a gray market in buying and then reselling vehicles elsewhere in Europe. Brett Berk, WIRED, "Norway Invites You to Explore Its Electric Vehicle Paradise," 6 July 2019 In early 2018, Jigsaw hired a security firm to sniff around Russian language black market and gray market web forums for disinformation-for-hire services. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "Alphabet-Owned Jigsaw Bought a Russian Troll Campaign as an Experiment," 12 June 2019 Manufacturers fear that unsold watches can wind up in the gray market selling at a discount, tarnishing their brands’ cachet. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "Cartier Owner Struggles With a Glut of Fancy Watches," 9 Nov. 2018 Bots can be readily purchased on a gray market of websites. Craig Timberg And Elizabeth Dwoskin,, "Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk," 7 July 2018 The old woman prescribed dried rattlesnake rattles, somehow procured in the gray markets where taxes aren’t paid and questions not asked. Mark Davis, ajc, "Personal Journeys: A class by herself," 8 June 2018 This statement seems to disregard official services like the Steam Community Market and gray market third-party sites that let players trade in-game items for cash and vice versa. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Trade group prez: Loot box regulation “challenges our freedom to innovate”," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gray market.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gray market

1934, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gray market

Time Traveler for gray market

Time Traveler

The first known use of gray market was in 1934

See more words from the same year

Statistics for gray market

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gray market.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gray market

gray market


Financial Definition of gray market

What It Is

In the investing world, a gray market exists when people begin trading shares that have not been issued yet. In the business world, a gray market is the novel but not always illegal process of obtaining goods or services.

How It Works

Let's say Company XYZ is going public on Tuesday. John Doe subscribed to the offering and will have about 200,000 shares. Jane Smith is anxious to get her hands on some of the shares but is not a subscriber. She calls John and offers to buy some shares from him as soon as they start trading. He agrees. Six other fund managers also call John and try to get some of his shares. John, Jane, and the other fund managers are creating a gray market for the shares.

Why It Matters

The existence of gray markets signals strong demand for a good, service or security. In the business world, products are sometimes less expensive in the gray market, though they also may be counterfeit, cheaply made, or infringing on a trademark.

Source: Investing Answers

gray market


Legal Definition of gray market

: a market employing irregular but not illegal methods especially : a market that legally circumvents authorized channels of distribution to sell goods at prices lower than those intended by the manufacturer

More from Merriam-Webster on gray market

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gray market

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gray market

Comments on gray market

What made you want to look up gray market? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!