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dray

[drey] /dreɪ/
noun
1.
a low, strong cart without fixed sides, for carrying heavy loads.
2.
a sledge or sled.
3.
any vehicle, as a truck, used to haul goods, especially one used to carry heavy loads.
verb (used with object)
4.
to convey on a dray.
verb (used without object)
5.
to drive or operate a dray, especially as an occupation.
6.
to convey goods by dray, especially locally or for short distances.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English draye sledge; compare Old English draeg- (in drægnet dragnet), akin to dragan to draw
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dray
  • Look at the race and dray horse, or at the greyhound and mastiff.
British Dictionary definitions for dray

dray1

/dreɪ/
noun
1.
  1. a low cart without fixed sides, used for carrying heavy loads
  2. (in combination): a drayman
2.
any other vehicle or sledge used to carry a heavy load
Word Origin
Old English dræge dragnet; related to Old Norse draga load of timber carried on horseback and trailing on the ground; see draw

dray2

/dreɪ/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of drey

drey

/dreɪ/
noun
1.
a squirrel's nest
Word Origin
C17: of unknown 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 dray
n.

mid-14c., Middle English noun derivative of Old English dragan "to draw," originally meaning a cart without wheels that has to be "dragged" (cf. Old Norse draga "timber dragged behind a horse"); see drag (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for dray

the heaviest type of dead-axle wagon used in conjunction with a team of draft animals. Drays were either of the two- or four-wheeled type and were employed most often in and about cities for the transport of heavy loads or objects such as large machines. Features of the dray included smaller wheels than those used on other wagons, a flat, level floor, and, usually, no sides. Some drays, however, did have box bodies or stake sides. Machinery trucks, floats, and transfer wagons were specialized varieties of drays.

Learn more about dray with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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8
7
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