9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[grav-uh l] /ˈgræv əl/
small stones and pebbles, or a mixture of these with sand.
  1. multiple small calculi formed in the kidneys.
  2. the disease characterized by such concretions.
verb (used with object), graveled, graveling or (especially British) gravelled, gravelling.
to cover with gravel.
to bring to a standstill from perplexity; puzzle.
Informal. to be a cause of irritation to.
Obsolete. to run (a ship) aground, as on a beach.
harsh and grating:
a gravel voice.
Origin of gravel
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French gravele, diminutive of grave sandy shore, perhaps < Celtic; cf. grave4, growan
Related forms
gravelish, adjective
ungraveled, adjective
ungravelled, adjective
well-graveled, adjective
well-gravelled, adjective
Can be confused
gavel, gravel, grovel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gravel
  • Follow the same procedure with pebbles or gravel and with clay.
  • Mix gravel with rocks of varying sizes to add interest in large areas.
  • If you've ever driven along a gravel or dirt road in the summer, you're undoubtedly familiar with the washboards that develop.
  • In a fire-wise garden, use gravel or decomposed granite-not flammable bark mulch-to cover the bare ground around plants.
  • In my two running falls, the only thing that scarred was when my dermatologist removed gravel from my palm.
  • Some progress has been made in building gravel tracks.
  • Then there is the favorite rolling spots in the back with the new gravel.
  • After routine road grading, they combed through the gravel to recover them.
  • In one dream, he limped up the gravel road from our family cemetery and tapped on my bedroom window.
  • The pulverizers begin to spin, crushing the rock into gravel.
British Dictionary definitions for gravel


an unconsolidated mixture of rock fragments that is coarser than sand
(geology) a mixture of rock fragments with diameters in the range 4–76 mm
(pathol) small rough calculi in the kidneys or bladder
verb (transitive) -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
to cover with gravel
to confound or confuse
(US, informal) to annoy or disturb
Derived Forms
gravelish, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French gravele, diminutive of grave gravel, perhaps of Celtic 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 gravel

early 13c., from Old French gravele "sand, gravel," diminutive of grave "sand, seashore" (Modern French grève), possibly from Celtic *gravo- (cf. Welsh gro "coarse gravel," Breton grouan, Cornish grow "gravel"), perhaps ultimately from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gravel in Medicine

gravel grav·el (grāv'əl)
Sandlike concretions of uric acid, calcium oxalate, and mineral salts formed in the passages of the biliary and urinary tracts.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for gravel


Related Terms

hit the dirt

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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