Graze vs grays or greys

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Graze and grays or greys commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the homophonic words graze and grays or greys, where these three words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Graze has two, very different definitions. First, graze may mean the act of an animal such as a cow, sheep, or buffalo eating grass in a field. An animal grazes by pulling up growing grass or other growing plants in a field, with its teeth. Graze is used figuratively to mean the partaking of light snacks, without sitting down to a full meal. This definition of the word graze is derived from the Old English word grasian, which means grass and is used as a verb. The second definition of graze is to scrape in passing, to lightly touch something while passing it. In this sense, the word graze is often used to mean slight injury from a bullet or slight injury from a motor vehicle. This definition of the word graze seems to have been derived from the original meaning of the word graze, referring to the close-cropped grass left after an animal has fed. This definition of the word graze is used as a verb or a noun. Related forms are grazes, grazed, grazing, grazer.

Grays or greys are colors that are neither black or white. They fall on the color palette somewhere between black and white. Grays or greys are considered neutral colors, which often complement a brighter one, though there are many different shades of grays or shades of greys and different colors available. Grays or greys may also be used to mean hair turning silver or white with age. The spelling grays is usually reserved for an American audience, while the spelling greys is more common in British English. Both spellings have their origins in the Old English word grǽg. Grays or greys may be used as a noun or verb. Related words are gray or grey, grayed or greyed, graying or greying.


“We may or may not get to it this year, but we’ll put that on a grazing rotation starting next year for sure,” Adams said. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)

Meat such as beef and lamb is particularly inefficient to produce, because livestock need lots of space to graze, and that land is often space that used to be covered with forests. (Time Magazine)

While it’s undeniable that blues, grays, and greens are inherently calm colors, the buck doesn’t have to stop there. (Southern Living Magazine)

“As hair grays something happens that causes this gene to produce even lower levels of melanin,” says Adhikari. (Newsweek Magazine)

You don’t have to switch to the greys and blacks, or dull colours to avoid wardrobe slips; with several celebs spotted in whites, pick yourself a style that will go with your taste to keep up the fashion game on point. (The Asian Age)