\ 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

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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

Upstairs, the home is divided into two wings, one of which is dedicated to a master suite, with tray ceilings, private den and en-suite bath with soaking tub. Shannon Rooney,, "On the market: A Chester County house surrounded by countryside," 5 June 2019 Guards pass trays of food through a slat in a door. The Economist, "What it’s like to spend half a life in solitary confinement," 5 June 2019 There are always trays of knafeh, the terrifically gooey cheese pastry topped with fine, thread-like shreds of crisp semolina dough. Patricia Escárcega,, "Review: At Forn Al Hara in Anaheim, it’s all about the flatbreads and cheese boats," 5 June 2019 Master suite: Bedroom has tray-ceiling, large windows and sitting room with french doors leading out to a private terrace. Joey Morona,, "Lakefront home with great backyard in Avon Lake asks $1.875M: House of the Week," 30 Mar. 2018 Built-in bookshelves, hardwood floors, stained woodwork and tray ceilings add character to the home. Maureen C. Gilmer, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: Fishers home offers a waterfront retreat for $1.35M," 26 Jan. 2018 Much like a waiter steadying plates across two hands, online food-ordering platforms face their own balancing act—particularly those with the biggest trays. Laura Forman, WSJ, "DoorDash Is Coming in Hot," 14 Mar. 2019 Women wandered with trays of fresh lobsters perfectly balanced on their heads or carrying kits for performing pedicures, touting in vain for customers. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "This Cambodian city is turning into a Chinese enclave, and not everyone is happy.," 29 Mar. 2018 That's an inconvenient spot for it, and most automakers have moved the auxiliary power outlets and USB ports to the front of the center console below the dash, with a tray to hold smartphones out in the open. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "MAZDA CX-9: Crossover offers great styling, sporty performance, plenty of interior space," 26 Mar. 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

11 Jun 2019

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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 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

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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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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