follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

gray matter

noun
1.
Anatomy. nerve tissue, especially of the brain and spinal cord, that contains fibers and nerve cell bodies and is dark reddish-gray.
Compare white matter.
2.
Informal. brains or intellect.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for gray matter
  • The brain has not yet revealed its mysterious mechanism of gray matter.
  • The technique revealed never-before-seen patterns in the white matter and gray matter of the human brain.
  • After a week, the jugglers were already developing extra gray matter in some brain areas.
  • Now comes a study finding that it's possible to increase the brain's gray matter quite quickly-in only a matter of days.
  • Until now, researchers believed our brain had a basic division of labor between gray matter and white matter.
  • Chronic pain can shrink the volume of the brain's gray matter, the portion of the brain devoted to thought.
  • The other touch fibers, shortly after entering the spinal cord, terminate in the dorsal column or intermediate gray matter.
  • Find out with this quiz and give your gray matter a workout in the process.
  • They are for the benefit of the players themselves-or, to be more precise, for the benefit of the players' gray matter.
  • The scientific establishment is still slicing and dicing gray matter and putting it under a microscope to see what makes it spin.
gray matter in Medicine

gray matter n.
Brownish-gray nerve tissue, especially of the brain and spinal cord, composed of nerve cell bodies and their dendrites and some supportive tissue. Also called gray substance, substantia grisea.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
gray matter in Science
gray matter  
The brownish-gray tissue of the vertebrate brain and spinal cord, made up chiefly of the cell bodies and dendrites of neurons. Compare white matter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for gray matter

gray matter

noun phrase

Intelligence; brains, smarts (1899+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with gray matter
Brains, intellect, as in If you'd only use your gray matter, you'd see the answer in a minute. This expression refers to actual brain tissue that is gray in color. Agatha Christie's fictional detective, Hercule Poirot, constantly alludes to using the little gray cells for solving a crime. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for gray matter

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gray

8
8
Scrabble Words With Friends