Definition of gravy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡrāvē/

noun (plural gravies)

1The fat and juices exuding from meat during cooking.
Example sentences
  • Add sausage meat back to gravy and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Strictly speaking, the pudding, cut in squares, should be served with gravy before the meat, to take the edge off the appetite.
  • A typical meal consists of meat and potatoes with gravy and a fresh salad.
1.1A sauce made from cooked meat juices together with stock and other ingredients.
Example sentences
  • All sauces and gravies should contain either marmite or ketchup.
  • Use plain, unsweetened soymilk in soups, sauces, gravies, casseroles and quickbreads.
  • Stir minced kale into soups, stews, rice, gravies, or sauces.
2 informal, chiefly North American Unearned or unexpected money.
Example sentences
  • The money is gravy that can be used to enhance policy in other ways.
  • The federal money for the bridges was real gravy.
  • Selling the warranties, even for as little as $5 each, is pure gravy for the corporations that pocket our money.


Middle English (denoting a spicy sauce): perhaps from a misreading (as gravé) of Old French grané, probably from grain 'spice', from Latin granum 'grain'.

  • In medieval cookbooks gravy describes a spicy sauce, usually consisting of broth, milk of almonds, spices, and wine or ale. Only in the late 16th century did it start to refer to a sauce made out of meat juices. The most likely explanation for the word's origin is that someone misread Old French grané as gravé, which is quite possible given the similarity between ‘u’ and ‘n’ and that u was used to represent v in medieval manuscripts. Grané probably derived from grain ‘spice’, from Latin granumgrain’. Gravy has also meant ‘money that is easily acquired’ since the start of the 20th century, and to board the gravy train is to obtain access to an easy source of financial gain. Here ‘gravy train’ is perhaps a play on ‘gravy boat’, a long, narrow jug used for serving gravy.

Words that rhyme with gravy

cavy, Davy, Devi, navy, slavey, venae cavae, wavy

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gra·vy

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