\ˈtrā \

Definition of tray 

: an open receptacle with a flat bottom and a low rim for holding, carrying, or exhibiting articles

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Other Words from tray

trayful \ˈtrā-​ˌfu̇l \ noun

Examples of tray in a Sentence

She carried the tray of food to our table. a car with several storage trays

Recent Examples on the Web

Save the finest china—or any china—for the main event and opt for disposable, eco-friendly plates and trays for appetizers to deftly cut down on cleanup. Vogue, "Kitchen Confidential: 4 Tricks to Make Your Post-Party Cleanup a Breeze," 16 Nov. 2018 For each client, your artist should open a new set of needles, place ink into new containers or trays, wear gloves while tattooing, and replace those gloves with a new pair after each break to reduce the risk of infection, the Mayo Clinic says. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "9 Smart Questions to Ask Before Getting a Tattoo," 9 Nov. 2018 Here the locals pool in yellow and red plastic chairs, hovering over disposable food trays and sweaty bottles of Antarctica beer. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 On the right are the subtly flush SIM card tray and one long metal button that's used to replace some functions that used to belong to the home button. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iPhone XS and XS Max review: Big screens, big performance, big lenses, big prices," 1 Oct. 2018 The workers then start throwing plates and food trays at her. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Texas restaurant patron, employees get into fight, throw plates and food," 12 Sep. 2018 Set the container onto a drip tray and then carefully water the seeds with a gentle shower from a watering can. Willi Evans Galloway, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Microgreens Indoors at Home," 22 Aug. 2018 Even if your carving job isn't perfect, lay the bird out on a serving tray with some slices of lemon and sprigs of herbs. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Roast a Turkey if You've Never Done It Before," 20 Nov. 2018 Arrange 20 wafers on a lined sheet tray for easy handling and moving, then pipe orange frosting into the center of a wafer, place another on top, and gently push them together until the frosting almost comes out the side. Alexis Jones, Redbook, "The Best Halloween Food Ideas for Your Adult Gathering," 2 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tray.' 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 tray

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tray

Middle English, from Old English trīg, trēg; akin to Old Swedish trø wooden grain measure and probably to Old English trēow tree — more at tree entry 1

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Statistics for tray

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tray

The first known use of tray was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tray



English Language Learners Definition of tray

: a thin, flat, and often rectangular piece of plastic, metal, wood, etc., that has a low rim and that is used for carrying things

: a container that has low sides and usually no top and that is used to hold something


\ˈtrā \

Kids Definition of tray

: an open container with a flat bottom and low rim for holding, carrying, or showing articles a waiter's tray a tray of ice cubes


\ˈtrā \

Medical Definition of tray 

: an appliance consisting of a flanged body and a handle for use in holding plastic material against the gums or teeth in making negative impressions for dentures

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More from Merriam-Webster on tray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tray

Spanish Central: Translation of tray

Nglish: Translation of tray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tray for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tray

Comments on tray

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


to enclose within walls

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