dray

[drey]
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:
1325–75; Middle English draye sledge; compare Old English draeg- (in drægnet dragnet), akin to dragan to draw

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dray1 (dreɪ)
 
n
1.  a.  a low cart without fixed sides, used for carrying heavy loads
 b.  (in combination): a drayman
2.  any other vehicle or sledge used to carry a heavy load
 
[Old English dræge dragnet; related to Old Norse draga load of timber carried on horseback and trailing on the ground; see draw]

dray2 (dreɪ)
 
n
a variant spelling of drey

drey or dray (dreɪ)
 
n
a squirrel's nest
 
[C17: of unknown origin]
 
dray or dray
 
n
 
[C17: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dray
mid-14c., M.E. derivative of O.E. dragan "to draw," originally meaning a cart without wheels that has to be "dragged" (cf. O.N. draga "timber dragged behind a horse"); see drag.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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