Middle English Dictionary Entry

grei adj. & n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) Ash-colored, flint-colored, dull, gray; of cloth: gray, drab; of a man: gray-haired; ~ hered, ~ hore, ~ hored, gray-haired, hoary; ~ her, an old man; ~ tauier, one who taws pelts gray; (b) of morning light: dim, gray, early; (c) of religious orders: ~ abbeie, a Cistercian abbey; ~ frer, a Franciscan friar; ~ freres, a Franciscan convent; ~ monk, a Cistercian monk; (d) of copper ore: native, like fahlore; ~ aumbre, ambergris; ~ bred, coarse bread (?of rye or oats); ~ chiken, ?gray hen; ~ gruel, coarse porridge; ~ hors (amblere); ~ sop; ~ ston, a gray monolith, boundary stone; ~ wax, ?unbleached wax; blak (mirk) ~, dark gray.
2.
(a) Bright, shining, glinting; gleaming in a grayish or bluish color; (b) of eyes: bright, gleaming (of indeterminate color); (c) having a color other than gray: red, yellow, brown.
3.
As noun: (a) an old man; (b) gray cloth, a gray garment.
4.
(a) In surnames; (b) in place names [see Smith PNElem. 1.207].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 MSerm.Mol.(Adv 19.3.1)83 : Therof come trypyng to the kyng of Hongre, that all pepull which myʒth not lyʒttely come to the Playn of Salesbere, but the fox and the grey convent, schuld pray for all the olde schu solys.
  • Note: New cmpd. for 1.(c)

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450Diseases Horse (Yale 163)26 : Appulle grey is next best.
Note: New combination 'appel grei', = 'dapple grey' 'grey variegated with rounded spots or patches of a darker shade, said of horses' (OED).