bray

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Bray

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

The verb is derived from Middle English braien, brai, braie, bray, braye (of a person or animal: to vocalize loudly; of the weather: to make a loud sound, howl, roar),[1] from Old French brai, braire (of an animal: to bray; of a person: to cry or shout out) (modern French braire (of an animal: to bray; of a person: to shout; to cry, weep)),[2] possibly from Vulgar Latin *bragiō, from Gaulish *bragu (compare Breton breugiñ (to bray), brammañ (to flatulate), Cornish bramma, brabma (to flatulate), Old Irish braigid (to flatulate)), from Proto-Celtic *brageti, *bragyeti (to flatulate), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰreHg- (to flatulate; to stink); cognate with Latin fragrō (to smell), Proto-Germanic *brakkô (hound). Alternatively, the word could be from a Germanic source, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *brekaną (to break), and cognate with frangere (to break, shatter).

The noun is derived from the verb, or from Middle English brai, brait (shriek; outcry),[3] from Old French brai, brait (a cry), from braire (of an animal: to bray; of a person: to shout; to cry, weep); see above.[4]

Verb[edit]

bray (third-person singular simple present brays, present participle braying, simple past and past participle brayed)

  1. (intransitive) Of an animal (now chiefly of animals related to the ass or donkey, and the camel): to make its cry.
    Synonyms: blore (archaic, dialectal), hee-haw (ass or donkey)
    Whenever I walked by, that donkey brayed at me.
  2. (intransitive, by extension) To make a harsh, discordant sound like a donkey's bray.
    He threw back his head and brayed with laughter.
  3. (transitive) To make or utter (a shout, sound, etc.) discordantly, loudly, or in a harsh and grating manner.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

bray (plural brays)

  1. The cry of an animal, now chiefly that of animals related to the ass or donkey, or the camel.
    Synonym: hee-haw (ass or donkey)
  2. (by extension) Any discordant, grating, or harsh sound.
    • 1843, [Douglas William Jerrold], “A Gossip at the Reculvers [from The Chronicles of Clovernook]”, in Douglas [William] Jerrold, editor, The Illuminated Magazine, volume I, London: Published for the proprietors, [], OCLC 503990274, page 143, column 2:
      It seems a very nest—warm and snug, and green—for human life; with the twilight haze of time about it, almost consecrating it from the aching hopes and feverish expectations of the present. Who would think that the bray and roar of multitudinous London sounded but some sixty miles away?
    • 1876 April, “Gosse’s King Erik: King Erik. By Edmund W. Gosse. London: Chatto and Windus. 1876. [book review]”, in The London Quarterly Review, volume XLVI, number XCI, London: Published for the proprietors, at the Wesleyan Conference Office, [], OCLC 1044051325, page 257:
      [...] Mr. [Edmund] Gosse's blank verse is sweet and varied, and full mostly of a graceful melody. If it has not the trumpet's power, neither has it the trumpet's bray, but rather a flute-like tone of its own.
    • 2005, Merline Lovelace, The Last Bullet (Cleo North Trilogy; 3), Ontario: Mira Books, →ISBN, page 15:
      At full volume, Doreen's whinnying laugh could shatter glass. Even at half volume, her high-pitched brays rattled teeth.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English braie, braien, braye, brayen, breien (to break (something) into small pieces, to chop, crush, grind; to use a mortar),[5] from Anglo-Norman breier, Old French breie, breier, broiier (modern French broyer (to crush, grind)), possibly from Frankish *brekan (to break), from Proto-Germanic *brekaną (to break), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰreg- (to break);[6] thus making the English word a doublet of break.

Verb[edit]

bray (third-person singular simple present brays, present participle braying, simple past and past participle brayed)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To crush or pound, especially using a pestle and mortar.
  2. (transitive, Britain, chiefly Yorkshire, by extension) To hit (someone or something).
    • 2011, Sarah Hall, “Butcher’s Perfume”, in The Beautiful Indifference, London: Faber and Faber, →ISBN, page 25:
      If anything he brayed him all the harder – the old family bull recognising his fighting days were close to over.
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ braien, v.(1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ bray, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888; “bray” in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ brai, n.(1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 8 June 2019.
  4. ^ bray, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.
  5. ^ braien, v.(2)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 8 June 2019.
  6. ^ Compare “bray, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1888.

Anagrams[edit]