\ ˈtrā How to pronounce tray (audio) \

Definition of tray

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tray

trayful \ ˈtrā-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce trayful (audio) \ 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

Kevin Skaife, with the Yolo County district attorney's office, gathers trays while homeless people and the needy enjoy breakfast at Glide. Los Angeles Times, "Column: What if I were homeless? An immersion course in empathy in San Francisco’s Tenderloin," 14 Sep. 2019 Plastic trays for fresh food would be replaced with recyclable alternatives by the end of 2019, saving 6,000 tons of plastic. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Sainsbury's commits to cutting its use of plastics by 50%," 13 Sep. 2019 Ani Caranfilas mans the kitchen and pours sauce on finished trays as members of the Orthodox Church of St. Matthew prepare sarmale, a dish made with sour cabbage similar to stuffed cabbage rolls last Saturday. Katie Jones,, "Smell the sauerkraut: Columbia church starts preparing for an Orthodox October feast," 12 Sep. 2019 The remnants of candles stuck up from trays filled with sand in front of the image of the Virgin; a pile of these candles, very long and thin, sat next to a donation box at the door. Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker, "Harbor," 9 Sep. 2019 Instead of growing crops in a field or a greenhouse, a vertical farm creates an artificial indoor environment in which crops are cultivated on trays stacked on top of each other (see article). The Economist, "The foody benefits of farming vertically," 29 Aug. 2019 And each tray is bathed in vibrant light of different colours, mostly hues of blue and magenta. The Economist, "New ways to make vertical farming stack up," 29 Aug. 2019 Crudite tray The need for healthy, chopped and prepared fruits and vegetables was born when my children were much younger. Jennifer Folsom, NBC News, "The busy mom's guide to meal planning," 21 Aug. 2019 Unlike the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, this model lacks a microSD tray for expandable storage and the ability to charge at 45W speeds. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "Here’s where you’ll be able to preorder the Samsung Galaxy Note 10," 7 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tray

Statistics for tray

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tray

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce tray (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tray (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!