gray

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Related to grayness: greyish, greyed, grayly, grayer

get gray hair from (someone or something)

To be exceedingly worried, stressed, or upset by or about something or someone. I'm getting gray hair from these kids screaming all day long. I'm going to get gray hair from my teenage daughter and all her wild behavior. I'm going to get gray hair from dealing with this stupid car breaking down all the time!
See also: get, gray, hair

the grey pound

The economic purchasing power of elderly people as a group. Primarily heard in UK. As the baby-boom generation enters old age, many different markets are trying to capitalize on the burgeoning influence of the grey pound.
See also: grey, pound

the gray dollar

The economic purchasing power of elderly people as a group. Primarily heard in US. As the baby-boom generation enters old age, many different markets are trying to capitalize on the burgeoning influence of the gray dollar.
See also: dollar, gray

all cats are grey at night

In the dark of night, appearances do not matter (because it is so difficult to see anything). A: "I can't believe you're going on a date with someone you've never met before! What if you don't think he's attractive?" B: "Ah, all cats are grey at night, so it will be fine."
See also: all, cat, grey, night

all cats are grey by night

In the dark of night, appearances do not matter (because it is so difficult to see anything). A: "I can't believe you're going on a date with someone you've never met before! What if you don't think he's attractive?" B: "Ah, all cats are grey by night, so it will be fine."
See also: all, cat, grey, night

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

grey amber

Another term for ambergris, a waxy substance excreted by sperm whales and used as a fixative, especially in the preparation of perfumes. The large chunk of grey amber that washed ashore is worth more than gold!
See also: amber, grey

grey power

The influence exerted by the elderly people in an organization, community, etc. When I decided to run for office, I knew that grey power would be an important factor in the election and that I needed to rally support from the elderly.
See also: grey, power

All cats are gray in the dark.

Prov. When in the dark, appearances are meaningless, since everything is hard to see or unseen. I don't care if my date is ugly. All cats are gray in the dark.
See also: all, cat, dark, gray

(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 hair(s)

 
1. Lit. a lightening of the hair caused by aging or hereditary factors. (*Typically: get ~ have ~ give someone ∼.) I get more gray hair the older I get. I guess my genes give me gray hair.
2. Fig. a lightening of the hair caused by stress or frustration. (*Typically: get ~ have ~ give someone ∼.) I'm getting gray hairs because I have three teenage boys. I have gray hair from raising four kids.
See also: gray, hair

gray matter

Fig. intelligence; brains; power of thought. Use your gray matter and think what will happen if the committee resigns. Surely they'll come up with an acceptable solution if they use some gray matter.
See also: gray, matter

a grey area

  (British & Australian) also a gray area (American)
a subject or problem that people do not know how to deal with because there are no clear rules The legal difference between negligence and recklessness is a bit of a grey area.
See also: area, grey

grey matter

  (British & Australian humorous) also gray matter (American humorous)
your intelligence It's an entertaining film but it doesn't exactly stimulate the old grey matter.
See also: grey, matter

get gray hair from

Be very worried or upset by. For example, I know I'm going to get gray hair from his driving. Similarly, give gray hair to means "to worry someone," as in The boy's love of rock climbing gave his parents gray hair. This idiom alludes to the notion that extreme anxiety or grief can cause one's hair to turn gray. [Early 1600s]
See also: get, gray, hair

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

gray matter

Brains, intellect, as in If you'd only use your gray matter, you'd see the answer in a minute. This expression refers to actual brain tissue that is gray in color. Agatha Christie's fictional detective, Hercule Poirot, constantly alludes to using the little gray cells for solving a crime. [Late 1800s]
See also: gray, matter

Dorian Gray

Someone who never appears to age. In his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde told the story of the title character who made a Faustian arrangement with an artist to paint his portrait, the proviso being that Gray would not age, but the face in his painting would. As with such pacts, Gray lived to rue it. It didn't take long before “Dorian Gray” was applied to anyone who showed no signs of aging. If, for example, after ten or twenty years you met a long-lost friend who looked much the same as when you last saw him or her, you would acknowledge that miracle as “Hey, it's Dorian Gray.” And if your friend recognized the allusion, the reply was likely to be, “Yeah, but you should see the painting in my attic.”
See also: gray

the old gray mare

The passage of time. A folk song attributed to Stephen Foster and supposedly referring to a 19th-century harness-racing horse named Lady Suffolk begins, “Oh, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be . . . Many long years ago.” Unkind people used the image to refer women “of a certain age” (or older), although when used by themselves about themselves, it has an air of self-deprecating resignation. For example, a middle-aged woman who leaves the dance floor short of breath after a vigorous jitterbug may wipe her brow, reach for a cold drink, and exclaim, “The old gray mare ain't what she used to be.”
See also: gray, mare, old
References in periodicals archive ?
This occurs because the total number of lines counted is large at the lightest grayness level and small at the darkest grayness level and, so, more lines are likely to be lost per intensity increment at light intensity levels of grayness.
One might expect that annual bands would be of sufficient strength in comparison with other growth lines that a step in grayness intensity would not change the line count.
The regression equation for Figure 2A relating the rate of change in line count with incrementing grayness intensity is:
This regression was used to obtain a series of residuals for each of the 24 shells and grayness intensities in the range of 25-140 grayness units and the mean residual was plotted against grayness intensity (Fig.
The residuals comprising Figure 2C were ranked and a least-square means multiple comparison test was used to test the null hypothesis that the means of the residuals were equal across a range of grayness intensities.
Collectively, the analyses shown in Figures 2A through 2D identify two unique ranges of grayness in the grayness spectrum summarized by Figure 2A, in the range 60-70 and 95-105.
The data set is composed of the shell length and age (years) from a series of intensity-based line counts in the grayness range 95-105 for 328 ocean quahogs from 12-84 mm (Fig.
Line counts, and therefore apparent age, vary from grayness intensity 95-100 and thence to 105.
His somber and nocturnal interiors are striking in their density: a young girl seen from behind, sitting on a concrete bench, pulled from the black ink of night by the yellow light of street lamps; a family on a walk by the sea in the grayness and stoniness of falling night; a lunch scene, shot against the light, in which bodies and space melt together, saturating the image whose depth the viewer must now probe.
But now it appears that His Grayness won't even give information to his own spokesman, Michael Bustamante.
This is at least how I remember the Ace exhibition of 1995: Once past the tiny door, one was plunged into a tank of grayness.
This creates a conceptual grayness that takes some luster off the show's chic finish.
Combining the two artists' projects is not just the road but the excruciating grayness they cast over all their work.