Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The juices that drip from cooking meat.
  • n. A sauce made by thickening and seasoning these juices.
  • n. Slang Money, profit, or benefit easily or illicitly gained.
  • n. Slang Payment or benefit in excess of what is expected or required.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thick sauce made from the fat or juices that come out from meat or vegetables as they are being cooked.
  • n. A type of gravy.
  • n. (among Italian-Americans) Sauce used for pasta.
  • n. Unearned gain.
  • n. Extra benefit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The juice or other liquid matter that drips from flesh in cooking, made into a dressing for the food when served up.
  • n. Liquid dressing for meat, fish, vegetables, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fat and juices that drip from flesh in cooking; also, these juices made into a dressing for the meat when served.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the seasoned but not thickened juices that drip from cooking meats; often a little water is added
  • n. a sauce made by adding stock, flour, or other ingredients to the juice and fat that drips from cooking meats
  • n. a sudden happening that brings good fortune (as a sudden opportunity to make money)

Etymologies

Middle English grave, from Old French, possibly a misreading of grane, stew, sauce, from Latin grānātus, having many seeds; see pomegranate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English greavie; probably from greaves, graves, the sediment of melted tallow, from Old French. See greaves. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Kouvalis, the man credited with parlaying the phrase "gravy train" to a Ford victory, has been meeting with lawyers over the past few weeks to ensure no one is violating campaign-financing legislation.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • This classic combo of buckwheat groats, bowtie noodles and gravy, is incredibly simple to make when it it prepared as a side with a brisket in gravy.

    Toast:

  • The turkey was dry, and over-cooked, and I soon discovered that what we call gravy back in Jolly Old, was, in America, a white sauce made from a roux of butter, flour and milk.

    Gordon Brown, Charlie Whelan and Me

  • And the English word gravy appears, derived apparently but mysteriously from the French grané.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • Outspoken South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in September that he was disappointed that the black-led government had failed to stop what he termed the gravy train set in motion by its apartheid predecessors.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The Jews rightly expound this law as forbidding only the blood of the life, as they express it, not that which we call the gravy, for of that they supposed it was lawful to eat.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume I (Genesis to Deuteronomy)

  • The Italian surroundings did not rub off on this Irish-Swedish-American so I never spent all day stirring my homemade marinara, which they call gravy, by the way.

    KeysNews.com -

  • CARRIE JOHNSON: Local political candidates and religious leaders are sitting side by side at the Kankakee Country Club, digging into biscuits and gravy from the buffet and waiting for this annual prayer breakfast to begin.

    No Opponent, But Big Money In Illinois Justice's Race

  • Mashed potatoes are a great side dish any time, but are especially good when gravy is involved in a meal, which is why I always make sure that they make an appearance at my Thanksgiving dinner.

    Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Baking Bites

  • Those dinners are usually delicious, but not the traditional dinners from up north, usually sliced turkey smothered in gravy, no cranberry sauce, and pretty good pumpkin pie with a little drizzle of white cake frosting on it.

    OK! Now that I know . . . . . .

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