There are 2 main definitions of bray in English:

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bray1

Syllabification: bray
Pronunciation: /brā
 
/

noun

[usually in singular]
1The loud, harsh cry of a donkey or mule.
Example sentences
  • The donkey emitted a laugh-like bray.
  • Rippling amongst the voices were the sounds of horses and dogs and the occasional bray of a donkey, the clank and scrape of metal, the clang of forges working hard to repair damages and the low, mellow crackle of fires.
  • No worse by day than the lusty priming of a neglected hand pump, at night the donkey's bray assumes the apocalyptic aural agony of hell's rusted gates being effortfully forced ajar.
1.1A sound, voice, or laugh resembling the cry of a donkey or mule.
Example sentences
  • He had a bray of a laugh which he exercised at the most inappropriate times.
  • Dori's airhorn had a decidedly different tone than Devon's, and the resulting sound was a bray that was both loud and atonal.
  • The latter, a boisterous Jersey boy, has a motor mouth and often punctuates his sentences with an infectious bray of loud laughter.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1(Of a donkey or mule) utter a bray.
Example sentences
  • His smiles almost never touch his lips, except when he is braying with laughter or doing something much more intimate.
  • In fact, people are already braying for a saviour.
  • Fired by much wine and a weariness with the visitor's braying, these words (or something very much like them) tumbled unbidden from the Professor's lips.
Synonyms
roar, bellow, trumpet
1.1(Of a person) speak or laugh loudly and harshly: he brayed with laughter [with direct speech]: ‘Leave!,’ brayed a voice behind her
More example sentences
  • All the major chin-pullers will be thrashing the obvious, and I try not to be just another voice braying the company line.
  • ‘Yeah I'm talking to you,’ he said, his voice and his face braying the annoyance he felt towards the girl.
  • Instead of one strong voice braying the truth about the business of baseball, let there be dozens.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French brait 'a shriek', braire 'to cry' (the original senses in English), perhaps ultimately of Celtic origin.

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There are 2 main definitions of bray in English:

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bray2

Syllabification: bray
Pronunciation: /brā
 
/

verb

[with object] archaic
Pound or crush (something) to small pieces, typically with a pestle and mortar.
Example sentences
  • He was like that: he'd just bray somebody for no reason.
  • He said: ‘The next thing I saw was two lads being brayed.’
  • The dust is then sifted, the residue is brayed again; refractory stalks are burned to ashes, and this is mixed with the snuff.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French breier, of Germanic origin; related to break, brioche.

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