gray matter

noun

1
: neural tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that contains nerve-cell bodies as well as nerve fibers and has a brownish-gray color
2

Example Sentences

she's got the gray matter to figure that equation out
Recent Examples on the Web Compared with humanity’s giant lump of gray matter, this might seem like a radically different computer for processing memories. Max G. Levy, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2022 Now a new study reveals that even measures of the gross structure of the brain can be biased by excessive motion: Head motion during MRI acquisition reduces gray matter volume and thickness estimates. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2014 Compared with humanity’s giant lump of gray matter, this might seem like a radically different computer for processing memories. Max G. Levy, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2022 Studies show that the brains of teenagers who indulge in binge drinking have less gray matter, the vital tissue that allows humans to function normally. Bárbara Pinho, Discover Magazine, 28 Jan. 2021 Compared with humanity’s giant lump of gray matter, this might seem like a radically different computer for processing memories. Max G. Levy, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2022 Compared with humanity’s giant lump of gray matter, this might seem like a radically different computer for processing memories. Max G. Levy, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2022 Compared with humanity’s giant lump of gray matter, this might seem like a radically different computer for processing memories. Max G. Levy, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2022 Past studies have found that serious bouts of depression are often associated with a change in the volume of gray matter and white matter found within the brain. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 29 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gray matter was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near gray matter

Cite this Entry

“Gray matter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gray%20matter. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

gray matter

noun
1
: nerve tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that has a brownish gray color
2

Medical Definition

gray matter

noun
: neural tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that contains cell bodies as well as nerve fibers, has a brownish gray color, and forms most of the cortex and nuclei of the brain, the columns of the spinal cord, and the bodies of ganglia

called also gray substance

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