\ 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

Other Words from tray

trayful \ ˈtrā-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce tray (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 This is an adorable porcelain pour-over set that comes with a little tray to keep things tidy. Jess Grey, Wired, 25 Nov. 2021 The tray, which is warmly inscribed in appreciation for Ms. Pelosi’s fund-raising work on delivering a Democratic Senate majority in 1987, was a reminder for Mr. Manchin of the speaker’s past relationship with his predecessor. New York Times, 20 Nov. 2021 Once everything’s cooled down, that tiny tray is a breeze to clean and can be stored inside of the Perfect Pot to save space. Bon Appétit, 4 Nov. 2021 For the Dhala table and lamps (shown), Nichetto stacked minimal metal frames with bulbous Murano glass beads in juicy colors, while the Kaali tray is a halved egg of solid wood resting on a bright ceramic stone. WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021 This colorful tray from ArtSugar is a fun way to add a pop of color (no pun intended) to a nightstand or dresser. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 The bread tray, in the era when the old Stone’s Bakery on East Lombard Street made the salt rolls, was a standout. Jacques Kelly,, 12 Aug. 2021 Each seat has a deep, 70-degree recline, adjustable lumbar support, fold-out tray table, and a pneumatic padded leg rest, operated using air pressure and released by slightly moving a knob. Kathryn Streeter, Condé Nast Traveler, 11 Nov. 2021 The attendant had asked the passenger to fasten her seatbelt, stow her tray table and properly wear her mask during the final descent. NBC News, 28 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for tray

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tray



tray agriculture

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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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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