grey


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Related to grey: greyhound

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

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 gray in the dark, so it will be fine."
See also: all, cat, dark, gray

the men in grey suits

Collectively, the businessmen, politicians, or government officials who make important decisions behind the scenes but who are unseen and unknown by the public. It's easy to get disillusioned as a voter when you know most decisions get made by the men in grey suits.
See also: grey, men, suit

gray matter

Intelligence. (In medicine, "gray matter" is tissue in the brain and spinal cord.) Come on in—we could use your gray matter as we try to solve this problem.
See also: gray, matter

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

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

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 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

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

the men in suits

or

the men in grey suits

mainly BRITISH
COMMON The men in suits or the men in grey suits are the men who are in control of an organization or company and who have the power. As a band, they did things their own way and refused to be controlled by the men in suits. They were very definite about not wanting the same old boring city men in grey suits giving financial advice.
See also: men, suit

all cats are grey in the dark

the qualities that distinguish people from one another are obscured in some circumstances, and if they can't be perceived they don't matter. proverb
The US version of this proverb is at night all cats are gray .
See also: all, cat, dark, 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

little grey cells

brain cells (as symbolic of high intelligence or mental acuity).
The phrase is particularly associated with the cerebral Belgian detective Hercule Poirot , invented by Agatha Christie .
2006 Scotland on Sunday They…show an amazing capacity to solve every cryptic clue, code and secret that comes their way, often merely by the use of their little grey cells and a leap of the imagination.
See also: cell, grey, little

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

ˈgrey matter

(informal) intelligence or mental powers: Mark hasn’t got much grey matter, but he tries hard.
See also: grey, matter

(men in) grey ˈsuits

people working in politics, law, etc. who have power but are not known to the public: It will be the men in grey suits who decide whether the Prime Minister stays or goes.
See also: grey, suit
References in classic literature ?
But in the course of the evening I had rambled down to the door, and a little way along the street, that I might have another peep at the old houses, and the grey Cathedral; and might think of my coming through that old city on my journey, and of my passing the very house I lived in, without knowing it.
I turned and saw the passage behind me blocked by another heavy brute, with a huge grey face and twinkling little eyes, advancing towards me.
Always his mind would wander back to the little, black-haired ghost that sat on the table, smiling at him, and questioning him with its grey eyes.
Outside, the blackness changed to grey, and the grey to white.
Henry made no reply, and plodded on alone, though often he cast anxious glances back into the grey solitude where his partner had disappeared.
The dominant colour was grey, and yet there was to it a faint reddish hue--a hue that was baffling, that appeared and disappeared, that was more like an illusion of the vision, now grey, distinctly grey, and again giving hints and glints of a vague redness of colour not classifiable in terms of ordinary experience.
All donkeys love big words, so it is no wonder the grey one used so many of them.
It was the steward, who had come in carrying a tin coffee-pot with a long handle, and stood quietly by: a man with a middle-aged, sallow face, long features, heavy eyelids, a soldierly grey moustache.
He had noticed across the skylight a head in a grey cap.
The eyes themselves were of that baffling protean grey which is never twice the same; which runs through many shades and colourings like intershot silk in sunshine; which is grey, dark and light, and greenish-grey, and sometimes of the clear azure of the deep sea.
The sea had turned a dull leaden grey and grown rougher, and was now tossing foaming whitecaps to the sky.
Its solid grey stone walls were sea-stained and a trifle worn, but the arched wooden doors leading into the lifeboat shelter, which occupied one side of the building, had been newly painted, and in the front the window was hung with a curtain, now closely drawn, of some dark red material.
The girl with the grey eyes was right enough," he remarked to himself.
There are swift-flowing rivers which dash through jagged canons; and there are enormous plains, which in winter are white with snow, and in summer are grey with the saline alkali dust.
There is no bird in the steel-blue heaven, no movement upon the dull, grey earth -- above all, there is absolute silence.