\ ˈkē How to pronounce quay (audio) , ˈkā How to pronounce quay (audio) , ˈkwā How to pronounce quay (audio) \

Definition of quay

: a structure built parallel to the bank of a waterway for use as a landing place

Examples of quay in a Sentence

docked the ferry at the quay to let the passengers off
Recent Examples on the Web The new berth will be constructed in two phases, with the first two of the four quay cranes to be installed there scheduled for delivery in 2025. Jonathan Burgos, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 As soon the gantry quay cranes were removed from the tariff list, another equally important group was left to wallow in the mud. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 The cruise ship Carnival Vista is seen moored at a quay in the port of Miami on December 23, 2020. Marnie Hunter, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 On the crowded waterside quay of Dublin's Silicon Docks neighborhood, Google's European headquarters tower above the skyline. Liz Alderman New York Times, Star Tribune, 9 July 2021 On the crowded waterside quay of Dublin’s Silicon Docks neighborhood, Google’s European headquarters tower above the skyline. New York Times, 8 July 2021 Back in Saint-Tropez, and moored in her reserved spot on the town’s main quay outside the famed Le Sénéquier restaurant, Fayed would invite many of his Hollywood friends for a cruise. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 18 June 2021 The market's location, a quay in a town 25 miles from the G7 Summit's location, was earmarked by local police as a location for protests. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 12 June 2021 The memorial is being built at the quay from which ferries leave to Utøya. David Nikel, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of quay

1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quay

Middle English keye, kaye, borrowed from Anglo-French kay, caye, keye, corresponding to Middle French (Picardy) kay, going back to Gaulish *kagi̯o- (late Gaulish caio) "enclosure," going back to Celtic — more at haw entry 1

Note: The spelling quay, first appearing in the sixteenth century, follows modern French. As noted by the Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, the expected outcome of Middle English keye would be /keɪ/ in Modern English. — The form caio, glossed "breialo sive bigardio" (meaning perhaps "demarcated field or wood"), is found in Endlicher's Glossary, a collection of words dated in its earliest version to the eighth century that were taken by the glossator to be of Gaulish origin (and hence entitled "De nominibus Gallicis"). Compare also cai, glossed cancelli "latticed barrier" in Late Latin texts (see Thesaurus linguae Latinae s.v.). In Normandy and Picardy, from where kay spread to France generally, the original reference was perhaps to a barrier demarcating part of a seashore or river bank that was built up with stone or earth to make a loading area for boats. The corresponding word in Poitou was chai.

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Cite this Entry

“Quay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quay. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for quay


\ ˈkē How to pronounce quay (audio) , ˈkwā \

Kids Definition of quay

: a structure built along the bank of a waterway (as a river) for use as a landing for loading and unloading boats

More from Merriam-Webster on quay

Nglish: Translation of quay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quay


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