\ 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

Inside, carts of dumplings and trays of Champagne started the evening off. Vogue, "The Chiu Family Brings Chinatown to the 90210," 22 Feb. 2019 Not far away, a group of Daleks from Dr. Who roamed, while a collision between a Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts trucks, with trays of doughnuts spilled onto the street, depicted the response of several police officers. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "'Creative freedom' on display at massive Lego display in Oak Lawn," 9 Apr. 2018 Although cooks worked quickly, and tables groaning with trays of delicacies were available to appease hungry appetites, eager guests waited impatiently for this once-a-year specialty. Florence Steinberger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mimouna sweets, a Moroccan tradition, herald the end of Passover," 3 Apr. 2018 Gillespie is stunned, as is the short black butler who has just brought in a tray of lemonade. Walter Mosley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Walter Mosley on 'In the Heat of the Night' at 50: Does Mister Tibbs Still Matter?," 1 Mar. 2018 This time around, the campaign’s light-hearted spirit and irreverent edge were echoed in the late-afternoon party held at Studio 525 in Chelsea, which was flowing with trays of Champagne. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner and Willow Smith Walked the Walk Last Night With Stuart Weitzman," 13 Feb. 2019 The kids in line with trays at lunchtime, like a scene in a Dickens novel, gave it away. Maisha Leek, Marie Claire, "Once I Was Homeless, Now I Advise Silicon Valley," 28 Jan. 2019 This is as easy as scattering the seeds over a tray of potting soil, covering with a light layer of soil and keeping them moist. Tom Maccubbin,, "Prune blueberry bushes after fruiting," 23 June 2018 Many families have journeyed past the living room photo opps with trays of light bites. Cassie Owens,, "Not your parents' prom: Inside Philly's elaborate send-off culture," 8 June 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

19 Mar 2019

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 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

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