Difference Between Gray and Grey

Gray vs Grey

The main difference between gray and grey is that gray is the American way of spelling whereas grey is the English way of spelling of the word meaning a specific color. Before we explore the difference between gray and grey in detail, let us first have a look at what grey actually is. As said by the Oxford English dictionary, grey is “a colour intermediate between black and white, as of ashes or lead.” Grey is used as an adjective, noun and a verb. This article explains to you clearly what the difference between gray and grey is and also any other meaning these two words, grey and gray, might have.

What does Grey mean?

It is learned that grey was the way the British spelt in the 20th century. The same spelling was adopted by the Canadians as well. The English way of pronunciation became more popular. Linguists are of the opinion that when grey is used it conveyed a positive connotation. Until the spelling gray came to be used, the spelling in vogue was grey.

What does Gray mean?

The word gray, as mentioned before, has the meaning of ‘a color that is between white and black’. In fact, it lies somewhere between the extremes of white and black. You can use gray or grey to refer to any object or an animal of the color gray.

According to linguists, it was all gloomy description when the spelling gray was used. In other words, the spelling gray conveys a negative connotation which is quite contrasting to the positive connotation presented by grey. Also, it has been found that gray was begun to be used more recently.

It is interesting to note that the word with the spelling gray or grey is also used as an adjective. For example: ‘gray day,’ ‘gray mood,’ and ‘gray hair.’ In the first two examples, it gives the meaning of dull or gloomy. In the third example, it is used to denote the characteristics of age.

Gray (or Grey) when it is used with regard to a subjective matter, it gives the meaning of undefined or unclear position or character; a gray area.

Also, the word gray as a noun is used to indicate ‘the SI unit for the energy absorbed from ionizing radiation, equal to one joule per kilogram’. The abbreviation of the unit is ‘Gy,’ this name was given after the British radio-biologist, Louis Harold Gray (1905-1965). This particular meaning is, of course, used only in a particular context. Hence , it is to be known that both the words grey and gray are used with the primary difference of spelling.

What is the difference between Gray and Grey?

Difference Between Gray and Grey

Both grey and gray are qualified by almost the same meaning.

• Grey is the British way of spelling the word for the colour between black and white. Gray is the same colour but the spelling way of that word in American English.

• Grey was here in use long before gray came into being.

• According to linguists, there is a slight difference between the connotations of grey and gray. Grey gives a positive connotation while gray gives a negative connotation.

• The word gray as a noun is used to indicate “the SI unit for the energy absorbed from ionizing radiation, equal to one joule per kilogram.”

  • Al

    Being raised in the deep south (of the United States), I was taught the correct spelling was “grey”. In the seventh grade I was introduced to the spelling “gray” and was instructed that the “gray” spelling was only to be used in reference to a formal name (Mr. and/or Mrs. Gray). Since then, the “grey” spelling has been fading away and is rarely seen. The joke here is that it makes spelling easier for some (such as “metre” becoming “meter” etc.) and soon words like “easy” will be “ez”.