gray matter


Definition of gray matter

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

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Examples of gray matter in a Sentence

she's got the gray matter to figure that equation out
Recent Examples on the Web Generally, these tumors quickly impinge upon their surroundings, pushing up against and even infiltrating brain tissue and often blocking the flow of cerebrospinal fluid that cushions a person’s gray matter. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2021 The team found marked differences in gray matter – which is made up of the cell bodies of neurons that process information in the brain – between those who had been infected with COVID-19 and those who had not. Jessica Bernard, The Conversation, 24 Sep. 2021 Of course, gray matter isn’t completely impervious to the ravages of time. Erin Blakemore, Popular Science, 9 Mar. 2021 Borgwardt said that studies in animals have suggested that there are changes in the brain's gray matter and potentially, these effects of tea could be used to target psychiatric diseases such as depression and dementia. Katie Hunt, CNN, 21 May 2021 Social engagement gives your brain more robust gray matter to prevent memory loss and dementia. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 14 June 2021 While scans showed a dip in gray matter volume, for some women such declines were restored post-menopause, especially in the precuneus, a region of the brain used in social cognition and memory. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, 14 June 2021 The mother-daughter relationship may be especially influential, with a neuroimaging study from Yale University showing extra gray matter in the brains of moms who reported having warm relationships with their own mothers. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 In a first-of-its-kind, ground-breaking analysis of pre- and post-pregnancy brain scans published in 2016, researchers found mothers lose gray matter during pregnancy—and these losses endure for at least two years. Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of gray matter

1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for gray matter

Time Traveler

The first known use of gray matter was in 1809

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Dictionary Entries Near gray matter

gray market

gray matter

gray Minyan ware

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gray matter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for gray matter

gray matter


English Language Learners Definition of gray matter

: the tissue that makes up the brain

gray matter


Medical Definition of gray matter

: 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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