gray

1 of 4

adjective

variants or less commonly grey
1
a
: of the color gray
b
: tending toward gray
blue-gray eyes
c
: dull in color
2
: having the hair gray : hoary
3
: clothed in gray
4
a
: lacking cheer or brightness in mood, outlook, style, or flavor
also : dismal, gloomy
a gray day
b
: prosaically ordinary : dull, uninteresting
the boring, gray dullness of governmentP. J. O'Rourke
5
: having an intermediate and often vaguely defined position, condition, or character
an ethically gray area
grayly adverb
grayness noun

gray

2 of 4

noun (1)

variants or less commonly grey
1
: any of a series of neutral colors ranging between black and white
2
: something (such as an animal, garment, cloth, or spot) of a gray color
3
a
: a soldier in the Confederate army during the American Civil War
b
often capitalized : the Confederate army

gray

3 of 4

verb

variants or less commonly grey
grayed also greyed; graying also greying; grays also greys

intransitive verb

1
: to become gray
2
: age
also : to contain an increasing percentage of older people
The town's population has grayed over the last two decades.

transitive verb

: to make gray

gray

4 of 4

noun (2)

: the mks unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation equal to an energy of one joule per kilogram of irradiated material
abbreviation Gy

Examples of gray in a Sentence

Adjective What will you do when you are old and gray? My friends have all gone gray. It was a gray winter day. the gray faces of the people in the crowd
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
With the LEDs off, the color E Ink's white background has a somewhat gray hue to it rather than a brighter and cleaner white offered when the SmartLight is powered on. New Atlas, 12 July 2024 Before-and-after photos document the job's toll: More gray hairs. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, 12 July 2024
Noun
Its coloring is a mixture of grays, creams and light browns. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 12 July 2024 Choose from two colors (a neutral gray or a festive pink) and pick between little and big kid sizing. Dorian Smith-Garcia, Parents, 10 July 2024
Verb
Gnats vary in appearance but are generally smaller than fruit flies, with colors ranging from black to brown to gray. Tiffany Acosta, The Arizona Republic, 23 May 2024 But the recent actions of Russia — where population decline is only slightly slower than in Ukraine — provide a powerful counterexample to that theory, not to mention the rising tensions and territorial conflicts in fast graying East Asia. Joshua Keating, Vox, 18 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for gray 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gray.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Noun (1), and Verb

Middle English, from Old English grǣg; akin to Old High German grīs, grāo gray

Noun (2)

Louis H. Gray †1965 British radiobiologist

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gray was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gray

Cite this Entry

“Gray.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gray. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

gray

1 of 2 adjective
variants also grey
ˈgrā
1
: of the color gray
also : dull in color
2
: having gray hair
3
: lacking cheer or brightness : dismal
a gray day
grayness noun

gray

2 of 2 noun
variants also grey
1
: one of the series of neutral colors ranging between black and white
2
: something gray
gray verb
grayish
ˈgrā-ish
adjective

Medical Definition

gray

1 of 2 noun
variants or chiefly British grey
: any of a series of neutral colors ranging between black and white
gray adjective
or chiefly British grey

gray

2 of 2 noun
: the mks unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation equal to an energy of one joule per kilogram of irradiated material
abbreviation Gy

Biographical Definition

Gray 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Asa 1810–1888 American botanist

Gray

2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Thomas 1716–1771 English poet

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