Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: gravy
Pronunciation: /ˈɡreɪvi

Definition of gravy in English:

noun (plural gravies)

[mass noun]
1A sauce made by mixing the fat and juices exuded by meat during cooking 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.
1.1The 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.
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'.


gravy train

informal Used to refer to a situation in which someone can make a lot of money for very little effort: come to Hollywood and get on to the gravy train
More example sentences
  • It's nothing more than a gravy train for big business to make huge amounts of money from the public purse!
  • The bills started to come in in the eighties, of course, and financial stringency made it necessary to start cutting back on the gravy train.
  • I went to grad school, a move that both ended my ride on the industry gravy train and robbed me of disposable income for a number of years.

Definition of gravy in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words