9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[grey-vee] /ˈgreɪ vi/
noun, plural gravies.
the fat and juices that drip from cooking meat, often thickened, seasoned, flavored, etc., and used as a sauce for meat, potatoes, rice, etc.
  1. profit or money easily obtained or received unexpectedly.
  2. money illegally or dishonestly acquired, especially through graft.
something advantageous or valuable that is received or obtained as a benefit beyond what is due or expected.
Origin of gravy
1350-1400; 1905-10 for def 2; Middle English gravé, gravey < Old French gravé, perhaps misreading of grané (compare grain spice) < Latin granātus full of grains. See grain, -ate1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gravy
  • Don't add water the moisture from the meat is generally enough to make gravy.
  • Hollow out potato pile to create a bowl, pour in peas, and top with hot gravy.
  • Big farm breakfasts-especially biscuits and gravy-are mandatory, and tangy fried apple pies are a regional specialty.
  • Not to be left off the gravy train, big business also pushed through its own grab bag of perks in the new legislation.
  • Speaking of which, let's take our little gravy bowl and slather this plate with curry.
  • You're only trying to spread doubt to keep the gravy train running for your fossil fuel paymasters as long as possible.
  • Renewables are still one giant gravy train of subsidies and are also good publicity.
  • Too many politicians treat entrepreneurship as yet another gravy train.
  • Good gravy, my favorite economics blog is becoming my favorite great books blog.
  • Beyond the point where you get citizens' tacit consent, it's all gravy, really.
British Dictionary definitions for gravy


noun (pl) -vies
  1. the juices that exude from meat during cooking
  2. the sauce made by thickening and flavouring such juices
(slang) money or gain acquired with little effort, esp above that needed for ordinary living
(slang) wonderful; excellent: it's all gravy
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gravé, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gravy

late 14c. (early 14c. in Anglo-French), from Old French grané (with -n- misread for -u- -- the character used for -v- in medial positions in words in medieval manuscripts) "sauce, stew," probably originally "properly grained, seasoned," from Latin granum "grain, seed" (see corn (n.1)). See discussion in OED. Meaning "money easily acquired" first attested 1910; gravy train (1927) was originally railroad slang for a short haul that paid well.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gravy



Money or other valuables beyond what one actually earns or needs; a bonus or excess: Once we make back our expenses, everything else is gravy (1910+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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