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

Example Sentences

She carried the tray of food to our table. a car with several storage trays
Recent Examples on the Web The dedicated power outlet, larger tray table, and roomier seats made for a better work environment. Lauren Burwell, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2023 Give your partner the gift of breakfast in bed with this cute tray table. Women's Health, 6 Feb. 2023 Loop it around your tray table for a place to perch your feet that won't disturb the person in front of you. Madison Flager, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 Dec. 2022 The new trains include upgrades like panoramic windows, moveable headrests, bigger tray tables, upgraded lighting and better signage, per a statement from Amtrak. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Dec. 2022 Large laptops also can be too bulky for travel and won’t fit on the tray table of many economy class airline seats. Sascha Brodsky, Popular Mechanics, 7 Dec. 2022 And rather than a bedside canvas caddy, try an attachable bunk bed tray table. Leanne Italile, Chicago Tribune, 20 July 2022 Coach seats have a tray table that pulls down from the seat in front of you to provide a laptop workspace, and in the Zephyr’s roomettes and bedrooms, a small table folds out of the wall. Erika Mailman, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 In September:Woman charged with assault after punching Southwest flight attendant on May flight During the flight’s final descent, the attendant had asked Quinonez to buckle her seat belt, stow her tray table, and put on her facemask properly. Julie Watson, USA TODAY, 28 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near tray

Cite this Entry

“Tray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an open container with flat bottom and low rim for holding, carrying, or exhibiting articles
trayful noun

Medical Definition


: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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