: of the color gray
: tending toward gray
: dull in color
: clothed in gray
: prosaically ordinary : dull, uninteresting
the boring, gray dullness of government—P. J. O'Rourke
: having an intermediate and often vaguely defined position, condition, or character
an ethically gray area
: any of a series of neutral colors ranging between black and white
: something (such as an animal, garment, cloth, or spot) of a gray color
: a soldier in the Confederate army during the American Civil War
often capitalized : the Confederate army
grayed also greyed; graying also greying; grays also greys
: to become gray
also : to contain an increasing percentage of older people
The town's population has grayed over the last two decades.
: to make gray
: the mks unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation equal to an energy of one joule per kilogram of irradiated material —abbreviation Gy
Adjective What will you do when you are old and gray? My friends have all gone gray. It was a gray winter day. the gray faces of the people in the crowd
Recent Examples on the Web
AdjectiveWashington police tweeted that officers were looking for a thin man ages 25 to 27, wearing all black, with curly hair, who had a silver or gray gun. —Julianne Mcshane, NBC News, 28 May 2023 The gray bottle disappeared from the sidelines, and for now, the sticky pad has the hearts and soles of players across the N.B.A. —Kris Rhim, New York Times, 27 May 2023 The victim, who was driving a dark gray SUV with Oregon plates, has not been identified and deputies would like to talk to him. —The Oregonian, oregonlive, 27 May 2023 Beyond the privacy fence was a trailer park and a row of gray silos at the grain elevator. —Ted Genoways, The New Republic, 25 May 2023 Made of 100% cedar with a gray finish, this pergola should last for years to come. —L. Daniela Alvarez, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 May 2023 The person who passed the bill was in a gray sedan with tinted windows. —Chuck Fieldman, Chicago Tribune, 25 May 2023 During the recent spotting, Heard was seen enjoying a run on the streets of Madrid while wearing athletic attire, including a white tank top, dark gray leggings, and black tennis shoes. —Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 9 May 2023 Police and witnesses said a gunman parked a gray Honda Accord outside the mall about 30 miles from downtown Dallas at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. —John Bacon, USA TODAY, 7 May 2023
NounThe lower ceiling is finished with the matte surface of drywall, and the overall palette is a variation of grays inflected with warm aubergine tones. —ELLE Decor, 24 May 2023 Allen suspects the burglars had visited the store and knew where the African grays were located. —Hannah Fry, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 Located at the Village at Shea, the restaurant is minimalist in decor, with muted grays and whites accented with alder, birch and hints of walnut. —Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2023 The other cabinets feature a soft gray instead to convey a feeling of a separate freestanding piece. —Erin Cavoto, Country Living, 10 May 2023 Their paint scheme promotes airiness too: White up top and on the inset panels of the lower cabinets breaks up the blues and grays. —House Beautiful, 28 Apr. 2023 In the new brand images and videos, Ice Spice wears the Seamless Sculpt High Neck Thong Bodysuit in the color bronze and PinkPantheress wears the Seamless Sculpt High Waist Catsuit in the color jasper (charcoal gray). —Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 24 Apr. 2023 Warm grays offer more depth and interest than pure white, while maintaining the versatility that makes neutrals so popular in kitchens. —Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Apr. 2023 Shoppers can choose from 12 hues in all, including neutrals like white and charcoal gray, as well as pastels like aqua blue, available in sizes twin through California king. —Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 16 Apr. 2023
VerbAs long as this continues to be the case, anyone building a big-budget action film around a graying star could learn a thing or two from the Dad Kicks Ass canon—films that turn their actors’ age into a dramatic asset instead of ignoring it. —Alex Pappademas, Men's Health, 13 May 2023 Restoring mobility of the cells could allow the continuation of pigment production, eliminating graying hair. —Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2023 Same long beard with a few graying hairs, same retro clothing. —Alex Zhavoronkov, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023 Tourists at the top of Griffith Park on Wednesday morning got an accurate view of what it’s looked like to live in Los Angeles of late: gray as far as the eye could see. —Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2023 Their labor-intensive process is well-displayed in a dapper, full-length dress cascading from black to gray to white that looks like a mink coat. —Alicia Eler, Star Tribune, 3 Feb. 2021 Study links graying hair to stem cells getting stuck, unable to color new hair growth. —Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2023 The 53-year-old professor grinned from behind his graying beard with the enthusiasm of a mad scientist meeting his test subjects. —Zachary Small, New York Times, 1 May 2023 Say goodbye to yellowing and graying with these affordable options that deliver serious whitening power. —Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gray.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Words at Play
Palter, Dissemble, and Other Words for Lying
Skunk, Bayou, and Other Words with Native American Origins
You've used more than you might think
Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names, Vol. 2
When 'thingamajig' and 'thingamabob' just won't do
When Were Words First Used?
Look up any year to find out
Ask the Editors
Name That Tree!
A quiz that’s all bark, no bite.
Take the quiz
Name That Thing MegaQuiz: Vol. 5
Test your visual vocabulary!
Take the quiz
True or False?
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something a...
Take the quiz
Spelling Bee Quiz
Can you outdo past winners of the National Spelli...
Take the quiz