: a low island or reef of sand or coral

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Regular snorkeling tours and fishing charters depart for Lady Musgrave Island, a coral cay known for its mix of coral reefs and pisonia forests. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 23 Feb. 2023 This year brought the debut of the posh, eco-minded luxury Lovango Resort + Beach Club, where both overnight guests and day-pass visitors can indulge in beachfront food and drink service from the privacy of their very own cay. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 29 Nov. 2022 On Masig Island, a low-lying coral cay that’s home to some 270 people, the wind ripped down trees, and huge tidal surges flooded houses and an old cemetery. WIRED, 6 Jan. 2023 What used to be a cay is now a spit of sand encircled by a coral reef. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 To keep their staff when the season ended in Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Little Gem Resorts opened Lovango Resort and Beach Club on a private cay in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2022 And rising sea levels and storm surges led to the recent extinction of a rodent species called Bramble Cay melomys, which lived on a remote cay in the northern Great Barrier Reef, the report said. Kristen Gelineau, ajc, 1 Mar. 2022 It’s another cay (which is essentially a tiny island). Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Jan. 2022 Sandy Island is a small cay off Sandy Ground beach in Anguilla. Sandra Macgregor, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Spanish cayo — more at key

First Known Use

1707, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cay was in 1707

Dictionary Entries Near cay

Cite this Entry

“Cay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cay. Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

More from Merriam-Webster on cay

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?