American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To utter the loud, harsh cry of a donkey.
- v. To sound loudly and harshly: The foghorn brayed all night.
- v. To emit (an utterance or a sound) loudly and harshly.
- n. The loud, harsh cry of a donkey.
- n. A sound resembling that of a donkey: "an endless bray of pointless jocosity” ( Louis Auchincloss).
- v. To crush and pound to a fine consistency, as in a mortar.
- v. To spread (ink) thinly over a surface.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To pound or beat thoroughly, as with a pestle or other instrument; triturate, crush, mix, etc., by beating or any analogous action: as to bray drugs; to bray printers' ink. See brayer.
- To utter a loud and harsh cry: with reference now especially to the ass, but formerly also to the bull, deer, and other animals, as well as to man.
- Hence To make a loud, harsh, disagreeable sound.
- To utter with a loud, harsh sound, like the ass.
- n. A harsh cry, especially that of an ass; hence, any similar harsh or grating sound.
- n. A bank or mound of earth used in fortification; a breastwork; a bulwark; specifically, a wall or other work in advance of and covering the gate of a fortress.
- n. A piece of sloping ground; an acclivity or declivity.
- n. A clout for a young child. Kersey, 1708.
- n. In heraldry: Barnacles or twitchers for subduring a horse: used as a bearing.
- n. [Perhaps a corruption of brake, break.] A bearing similar to the preceding in form, representing a tool used for breaking hemp: sometimes called a hempbray, hemp-brake, or hackle. One or other of these bearings is frequently used in allusive heraldry for families of the name Bray and the like.
- In cloth-finishing, to pound (woolen cloth) in a soapy scouring-liquor: same as full. See full and fulling.
- v. To crush or pound, especially with a mortar.
- v. Of a donkey, to make its cry.
- v. Of a camel, to make its cry
- n. The cry of an ass or donkey.
- n. The cry of a camel
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To pound, beat, rub, or grind small or fine.
- v. To utter a loud, harsh cry, as an ass.
- v. To make a harsh, grating, or discordant noise.
- v. To make or utter with a loud, discordant, or harsh and grating sound.
- n. The harsh cry of an ass; also, any harsh, grating, or discordant sound.
- n. North of Eng. & Scot. A bank; the slope of a hill; a hill. See brae, which is now the usual spelling.
- v. braying characteristic of donkeys
- v. laugh loudly and harshly
- v. reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading
- n. the cry of an ass
- From Middle French braire, from Vulgar Latin bragire, from Gaulish *bragu (compare Middle Irish braigid ("it crashes, explodes"), Breton breugiñ ("to bray"); akin to English break, Latin fragor ("crash"), frangere ("to break")). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English braien, from Old French braire, from Vulgar Latin *bragere, of Celtic origin.Middle English braien, from Old French breier, of Germanic origin; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The bray is a way to bond and a way to communicate with the other penguins.”
“He proceeded to blow into it, but failed to produce anything more huntsman-like than a kind of bray such as might be uttered by a jackass suffering from a sore-throat.”
“It started with a kind of bray, then turned into a snorting sound, infecting everyone around her with laughter, he said.”
“It is well indeed that our churches, sadly given over to the laxity and carelessness of a bygone age, should be renovated and beautified, the tone of the services raised, and the "bray" of the old clerks, unsuited to the devotional feelings of a more enlightened day, silenced, but still a shade of regret will be mingled with their dismissal, if only for the sake of the large stock of amusing anecdotes which their names recall.”
“bray," and that reminded me of a story, and instead of having my thoughts and my heart set upon his beautiful prayer as I should have”
“I wonder what the effect would be if we took him literally and did all 'bray'? ”
“I was squatting on my hams over the litter -- seven sturdy, blind little beggars -- when from behind came a bray of trumpets and crash of brass.”
“Let all the howling idiots -- who are really just as wussified as the rest of your colleagues -- have their three-day bray.”
“When a happy, more well-adjusted award winner would inquire what I was referring to, I would bray while holding up my golden statue: This.”
“But Republicans continue to bray on about the need to cut taxes, cut spending and cut regulation as if it were not as plain as the nose on your face that these proposals have proven themselves utter failures.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘bray’.
words that describe sound
Animal sounds in different languages, and the verbs that specify them.
Since Georgetown took down their page, the current definitive website for this information is:
words for loud sounds
( open list, descriptive, randomness )
Words that speak humor
A friend of mine is changing her surname to Rae. She has a pleasant but unremarkable first name, and no middle name. So let's give her a memorable middle name. Come on Wordies, I know you can do it.
Words and phrases used in blazoning heraldic devices, along with names and other terms associated with the art and science.
Other similar lists can be found on Wordnik, especially that...
Another news story about words being removed from a dictionary before their time. See also the list of words added to the dictionary.
Those I've come across and try to keep fresh within my mind.
My favorite words.
Words I've come across while reading and looked up in the dictionary.
Looking for tweets for bray.