- 1The loud, harsh cry of a donkey or mule: the mule uttered its insane brayMore 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 a bray: he recognized the loud bray of the doctorMore 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: the donkey brayed and kickedMore example sentences
- Astley recorded the pastoral sounds of an Oxfordshire Sunday in summer - birds singing, bells ringing, donkeys braying, gates creaking - to accompany her piano-and-flute soundtrack of a day's journey into night.
- Donkeys brayed to one another across threshing floors of harvested wheat.
- The tractor roared, the donkey brayed and the water thundered by - it was a diabolical din.
- 1.1(Of a person) speak or laugh loudly and harshly: he brayed with laughter [with direct speech]: ‘Leave!’ brayed a voice behind herMore example sentences
roar, bellow, trumpet
- 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.
Middle English: from Old French brait 'a shriek', braire 'to cry' (the original senses in English), perhaps ultimately of Celtic origin.
verb[with object] • archaic
- Pound or crush (something) to small pieces, typically with a pestle and mortar: the kernels of this fruit the Arabs bray in a mortarMore 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.
late Middle English: from Old French breier, of Germanic origin; related to break1.