gray


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Related to gray: Gray code, gray matter
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all cats are gray at night

proverb In the dark of night, appearances do not matter (because it is too difficult to see anything clearly). 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: "Eh, all cats are gray at night—it will be fine."
See also: all, cat, gray, night

all cats are gray by night

proverb In the dark of night, appearances do not matter (because it is too difficult to see anything clearly). 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: "Eh, all cats are gray by night—it will be fine."
See also: all, by, cat, gray, night

all cats are gray in the dark

proverb In the dark of night, appearances do not matter (because it is too difficult to see anything clearly). 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: "Eh, all cats are gray in the dark—it will be fine."
See also: all, cat, dark, gray

Dorian Gray

A nickname applied to someone who doesn't seem to age. The phrase refers to the titular character in Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, who makes a deal with an artist so that a painting of him ages, but he does not. Your grandfather must be like Dorian Gray because he doesn't look 70, let alone 90!
See also: gray

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

give (one) gray hair

To cause one to experience negative or undesired physical effects (such as having gray hair) by making them exceedingly worried, stressed, or upset. Dealing with these screaming kids all day is enough to give me gray hair. Oh boy, my teenage daughter and all her wild behavior is going to give me gray hair. Dealing with this stupid car breaking down all the time is going to give me gray hair!
See also: give, gray, hair

gray 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 gray amber that washed ashore is worth more than gold!
See also: amber, gray

gray area

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

gray hair

1. Literally, hair that has lightened to a grayish color, typically due to aging. I'm only 30—how do I have gray hair already?
2. By extension, negative or undesired physical effects (such as hair that has lightened) due to being exceedingly worried, stressed, or upset by or about something or someone. I'm getting gray hair from being around these screaming kids 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: gray, hair

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

gray out

1. To cover or obscure someone or something in an image with a gray color. A noun or pronoun can be used between "gray" and "out." I don't understand why Tom grayed me out in this picture. Is he upset with me? Someone grayed out the text, so I can't make out what the note says.
2. In computer programming or design, to make some element of a user interface gray to signify that it is not available, not functioning, or has been disabled. A noun or pronoun can be used between "gray" and "out." There is a menu item for motion controls, but the game developers have grayed it out, promising that it will become available in a future update. For some reason, the "Save" button is grayed out on my word processor.
3. To perceive a transient loss or dimming of light, color, or clarity in one's vision due to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain. The intense g-forces caused the astronaut to gray out, but he was thankfully able to maintain consciousness.
4. To cause one to experience such a reduction in vision due to a restriction of oxygen. A noun or pronoun can be used between "gray" and "out." The roller coaster went so fast that it actually grayed me out!
See also: gray, out

gray power

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

grayout

The perception of a transient loss or dimming of light, color, or clarity in one's vision due to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain. The intense g-forces can cause grayouts in fighter pilots, but they are usually still able to maintain control of the vehicle.

have gray hair

1. Literally, to have hair that has lightened to a grayish color, typically due to aging. I'm only 30—how do I have gray hair already?
2. By extension, to experience negative or undesired physical effects (such as having gray hair) from being exceedingly worried, stressed, or upset by or about something or someone. I'm going to have gray hair after being around these screaming kids all day long. I'm going to have gray hair from my teenage daughter and all her wild behavior. I'm going to have gray hair from dealing with this stupid car breaking down all the time!
See also: gray, hair, have

little gray cells

Knowledge or the power to think critically. A reference to brain cells. This medication has very serious side effects, and I would rather hang on to all of my little gray cells than extend what remains of my life by a couple of years. The detective credited his little gray cells as the reason he was able to solve such a complex and mysterious case.
See also: cell, gray, little

old gray mare

old-fashioned Something or someone that is aged, obsolete, or outdated . An allusion to the folk song "Old Gray Mare," especially its opening line: "The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." It's (rare) modern use is usually somewhat derogatory. It may not have fancy apps or let me surf the Internet, but this old gray mare is still the only phone I need. I may be an old gray mare, but I still know how to get up and cut a rug on the dance floor.
See also: gray, mare, old

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

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 men in gray suits

Collectively, the businesspersons, 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 gray suits.
See also: gray, men, suit

the old gray mare ain't what she used to be

old-fashioned Something or someone is aged, obsolete, or outdated . The phrase comes from the opening line of the folk song "Old Gray Mare." Its (rare) modern use is usually somewhat derogatory. Man, that's a terrible sound coming from my car. I guess the old gray mare ain't what she used to be. A: "What happened, Mom? You used to be a great dancer." B: "Well, the old gray mare ain't what she used to be!"
See also: gray, mare, old, she, used, what
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

all cats are gray after dark/at night

Without sufficient knowledge one cannot distinguish between alternatives. This assertion appeared in numerous proverb collections, beginning with John Heywood’s of 1546, where it was put, “When all candels be out, all cats be grey.” A still older version, dating back some 2,000 years and stated by the Roman writers Ovid and Plutarch as well as by later writers, had it that all women are the same in the dark, a view now disputed by all but the most hardened misogynists.
See also: after, all, cat, dark, gray, night

gray eminence

The power behind the throne; a person who wields considerable power but secretly or surreptitiously. The term is a translation from the French of éminence grise. This phrase originally referred to François Leclerc du Tremblay (1577–1638), the trusted behind-the-scenes adviser of Cardinal Richelieu. The term came into English in the early 1940s when Aldous Huxley wrote a book about Tremblay entitled Grey Eminence (1941). See also power behind the throne.
See also: eminence, gray
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Related video: Catriona's mentor shared what makes her unique from other beauty queens Born in Queensland, Australia, Catriona has an Australian father, Ian Gray, while her mom, Normita Ragas Magnayon, is from Albay, which is why she represented Albay in Binibining Pilipinas.
Tyler is survived by his two children, daughter Josie Annabelle Gray and son Grayson Craig Alan Grey; his mother, Jean Gray; brother Justin Gray; and stepfather Frank Hails, all of Woodlawn; wife Caitlin Gray of Tamaroa; friend and mother of his daughter, Danica Carner of Benton; grandmother Judy Followell of Benton; grandfather Julius Gray and Patty of Benton; grandmother Kalah Martin of Mt.
On the online forum site (https://www.quora.com/Why-has-Duchess-Catherine-gone-all-grey-She-isnt-that-old) Quora , one person asked why Middleton has gone gray when she isn't that old after seeing a photo of the mom of three with some gray strands above her head.
Gray was received at the Senate by Senate President Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III, Senators Gringo Honasan and Nancy Binay.
Last week, Gray announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its CBS affiliate, WSWG, in the ninth of the nine Gray/Raycom overlap markets, Albany, Georgia, to Marquee Broadcasting, Inc.
Methods: This analytical cross sectional study was conducted on 398 male subjects keeping prevalence of premature gray hair as 50.2% and 5% error.
Reporter Katherine Salant teases, "If you ask 1,000 people to name their favorite color, you might get one who would say gray." However, "Look at any lifestyle or shelter magazine and you'll see that gray is hot and seemingly here to stay." Among its qualities:
When Gray announced its acquisition of the Schurz broadcast stations on September 14, 2015, and shortly thereafter when Gray and Schurz filed the requisite applications for consent to their transaction with the DOJ and the FCC, Gray expressly pledged to divest KAKE-TV, its ABC affiliate in the Wichita, Kansas, market, and Schurz's WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in the South Bend, Indiana, market, to facilitate prompt regulatory approvals for the Gray/Schurz transaction.
This is why as we age, our hair gradually turns gray, and then into white.
One of our favourite new labels is Gray & Willow, a premium and contemporary brand exclusively available at House of Fraser, which is heavily inspired by Scandinavian fashion.
In 2012 the University of Brest hosted the first international Alasdair Gray conference, and Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds combines the best papers from that conference with some fascinating additions.
Gray-Pitts felt bad that he let down his mother, Shelley Gray, and brother, Trevor Gray.
It's the color gray. You can't watch an HGTV show on a home renovation without seeing gray on cabinets, flooring, walls and furniture.
Hendersonville, NC, July 03, 2013 --(PR.com)-- GutZgray introduces a new line of hair products to care for gray hair or colored gray hair at the Cosmoprof North America Conference, July 14 - 16, 2013.
The photograph of Walt Whitman's comrade John Frederick Schiller Gray (Fred Gray), first published in a volume of Civil War reminiscences and reproduced here, is a previously unknown image of Gray, a college student turned Union soldier whom the poet met at Pfaff's beer cellar in New York during the summer of 1862, a few months before Gray enlisted.