gray 1 also grey (grā)
adj. gray·er, gray·est also grey·er or grey·est
1. Of or relating to an achromatic color of any lightness between the extremes of black and white.
a. Dull or dark: a gray, rainy afternoon.
b. Lacking in cheer; gloomy: a gray mood.
a. Having gray hair; hoary.
b. Old or venerable.
4. Intermediate in character or position, as with regard to a subjective matter: the gray area between their differing opinions on the film's morality.
1. An achromatic color of any lightness between the extremes of black and white.
2. An object or animal of the color gray.
3. often Gray
a. A member of the Confederate Army in the Civil War.
b. The Confederate Army.
v. grayed, gray·ing, grays also greyed or grey·ing or greys
To make gray.
1. To become gray.
a. To become old; age.
b. To include a large or increasing proportion of older people: "Federal food programs can't keep up with the nation's rapidly graying population" (Michael J. McCarthy).
[Middle English grei, from Old English grǣg.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.