bray

1 [brey]
noun
1.
the loud, harsh cry of a donkey.
2.
any similar loud, harsh sound.
verb (used without object)
3.
to utter a loud and harsh cry, as a donkey.
4.
to make a loud, harsh, disagreeable sound.
verb (used with object)
5.
to utter with a loud, harsh sound, like a donkey.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English brayen < Old French braire to cry out (cognate with Medieval Latin bragīre to neigh) < Celtic; compare Old Irish braigid (he) breaks wind

braid, brayed.
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bray

2 [brey]
verb (used with object)
1.
to pound or crush fine, as in a mortar.
2.
Printing. to thin (ink) on a slate before placing on the ink plate of a press.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English brayen < Anglo-French bra(i)er, Old French broier < Germanic; see break

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bray1 (breɪ)
 
vb
1.  (intr) (of a donkey) to utter its characteristic loud harsh sound; heehaw
2.  (intr) to make a similar sound, as in laughing: he brayed at the joke
3.  (tr) to utter with a loud harsh sound
 
n
4.  the loud harsh sound uttered by a donkey
5.  a similar loud cry or uproar: a bray of protest
 
[C13: from Old French braire, probably of Celtic origin]
 
'brayer1
 
n

bray2 (breɪ)
 
vb
1.  (tr) to distribute (ink) over printing type or plates
2.  (tr) to pound into a powder, as in a mortar
3.  dialect (Northern English) to hit or beat (someone or something) hard; bang
 
[C14: from Old French breier of Germanic origin; see break]
 
'brayer2
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bray
c.1300, from O.Fr. braire "to cry," from Gallo-Romance *bragire "to cry out," perhaps from a Celtic source (cf. Gael. braigh "to shriek, crackle"), probably imitative. As a noun, from c.1300. Related: Braying.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
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