grey area

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grey area

A concept or topic that is not clearly defined or that exists somewhere between two extreme positions. Primarily heard in Australia. There's a large grey area regarding whether the use of the new surveillance technology is lawful.
See also: area, grey

(a) gray area

Fig. an area of a subject or question that is difficult to put into a particular category because it is not clearly defined and may have connections or associations with more than one category. The responsibility for social studies in the college is a gray area. Several departments are involved. Publicity is a gray area in that firm. It is shared between the marketing and design divisions.
See also: area, gray

gray area

Indeterminate territory, undefined position, neither here nor there. For example, There's a large gray area between what is legal and what is not. This term, which uses gray in the sense of "neither black nor white" (or halfway between the two), dates only from the mid-1900s.
See also: area, gray

a grey area

COMMON If you call something a grey area, you mean that it is unclear. Note: `Grey' is usually spelled `gray' in American English. There are many grey areas in the law affecting stolen animals. Tabloid papers paint all sportsmen as heroes or villains. There is no grey area in between.
See also: area, grey

a grey area

an ill-defined situation or field not readily conforming to a category or to an existing set of rules.
In the 1960s, grey areas in British planning vocabulary referred to places that were not in as desperate a state as slums but which were in decline and in need of rebuilding.
2001 Rough Guide to Travel Health In theory, it should be a cinch to diagnose appendicitis, but in practice it's much more of a grey area.
See also: area, grey

a ˌgrey ˈarea

an area of a subject or situation that is not clear or does not fit into a particular group and is therefore difficult to define or deal with: The question of police evidence in cases like this is a grey area. We will need to consult our lawyers about it.
See also: area, grey
References in periodicals archive ?
Contract notice: Kuz south - green area maintenance, Path and gray area cleaning
Absorbing, melancholy and excellently performed, it explores the unforeseen gray areas that might go into a jury's decision, even if the jurors themselves find it troubling and controversial.
This book clarifies the complex rules governing copy-control technologies - and the exceptions and gray areas.
Johnson County War'' can't be bothered with moral gray areas.
Pomeroy continued: "Companies must question long-standing practices and procedures, analyze emerging risks and identify possible ethical gray areas.
Mayor Gus Gomez, who recently recused himself from voting on enforcement proposals that were ultimately tabled, exemplifies one of the gray areas.
Among other things, the act imposes mandatory transmission reliability standards, repeals the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA), provides some expanded authorities to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) while clarifying FERC's authority in formerly gray areas, criminalizes manipulative trading practices in power markets and increases criminal penalties for such practices in natural gas markets, and amends the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA).
The Pacific Bell Directory acknowledges there are some gray areas when it comes to deciding which ads can run - and which cannot.
Some of those contracts leave gray areas in doctor-patient communications.
Most major permission-based email marketers do already adhere to best practices, and have long been doing what the law now requires, but many are clearly confused by the nuances and gray areas of the law.
Chairman Rupert Murdoch; and New World Communications Group Chairman Ronald Perelman, the contracts were drawn up so any gray areas were avoided.
As you get older, you understand there are more gray areas.
But the guide in gray areas should be the spirit of reform and protection of investors that the bill's authors intended.