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A gravel road


From Middle English, from Old French gravele, diminutive of grave ‎(gravel", "seashore).



gravel ‎(usually uncountable, plural gravels)

  1. (uncountable) Small fragments of rock, used for laying on the beds of roads and railroads, and as ballast.
  2. A type or grade of small rocks, differentiated by mineral type, size range, or other characteristics.
  3. (uncountable, geology) A particle from 2 to 64 mm in diameter, following the Wentworth scale
  4. (uncountable, archaic) Kidney stones; a deposit of small calculous concretions in the kidneys and the urinary or gall bladder; also, the disease of which they are a symptom.



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See also[edit]


gravel ‎(third-person singular simple present gravels, present participle gravelling or graveling, simple past and past participle gravelled or graveled)

  1. (transitive) To apply a layer of gravel to the surface of a road, etc.
    • 1905, John F. Hume, The Abolitionists[1]:
      We kept quietly on our way until we reached a place in the road that had been freshly graveled, and where the surface was covered with stones just suited to our use.
    • 2006 May 5, Harold Henderson, “Snips”, in Chicago Reader[2]:
      The soldiers admitted that while they had the money to lay gravel on a particular road, they lacked the funds to pave it, even though all agreed that graveled roads offered easy concealment for IEDs.
  2. To puzzle or annoy
    • 1894, Anthony Hope, Dolly Dialogues[3]:
      "The fracture is your making; the pin--" Here Miss Dolly interrupted; to tell the truth I was not sorry, for I was fairly graveled for the meaning of the pin.
    • 1919, Christopher Darlington Morley, Mince Pie[4]:
      'Oh, yes,' says Jan. Pond was graveled; didn't know just what to do.
    • 1922, Herbert Quick, Vandemark's Folly[5]:
      It graveled me like sixty to pay such a price, but I had to do it because the season was just between hay and grass.
  3. To run (as a ship) upon the gravel or beach; to run aground; to cause to stick fast in gravel or sand.
    • Bible, Acts xxvii. 41 (Rhemish version)
      When we were fallen into a place between two seas, they gravelled the ship.
    • Camden
      Willam the Conqueror [] chanced as his arrival to be gravelled; and one of his feet stuck so fast in the sand that he fell to the ground.
  4. To check or stop; to embarrass; to perplex.
    • 1579, Sir Thomas North, tr., Plutarch's Lives, The Life of Marcus Antonius:
      The physician was so gravelled and amazed withal, that he had not a word more to say.
    • 1598, Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act IV:
      When you were gravelled for lack of matter.
    • 1830, Joseph Plumb Martin, A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier, Ch. VIII:
      [] I arrived at a spot where I was completely gravelled, and could go no farther one way or the other; []
  5. To hurt or lame (a horse) by gravel lodged between the shoe and foot.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Usage notes[edit]




  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: gra‧vel


Borrowing from English gravel.


gravel m, n ‎(uncountable)

  1. clay court (surface for playing tennis)