Difference Between Gray and Grey

We often face problems in finding the correct spellings to describe the colour between black and white. (the colour of ashes) Is it grey or grey? Or do they mean the same thing? These are the questions that we ask ourselves. In this article, we are going to answer these questions by analysing  this difference between gray and grey.

Gray- usage

Gray is the American spelling of the term. You should use gray when you are writing for an American audience.

Grey –usage

It is the British English spelling used to write gray. This spelling should be used if you are writing for a non-American audience.It is said that the term grey was first used to refer to the colour in AD 700. This spelling is more commonly used in Europe and other Commonwealth countries as well.

difference between gray and grey

“It all began on a cold, grey December morning.”


Gray/Grey Meaning

As explained above, the difference between gray and grey lies only on the spellings. Both these terms refer to the same colour and are derived from the old English term,’græg’. Therefore, you can use these two words interchangeably. Let’s now see the meaning of grey/gray.

The term grey can refer to,

  • The colour

“He was wearing a gray t-shirt.”

“No wonder, my hair has gone all grey.”

  • Gloom, darkness

“It all began on a cold, grey December morning.”

  • Dull, uninteresting

“His gray and monotonous daily was interrupted by her sudden arrival.”


Though grey and gray can be used interchangeably for the most part, there are some exceptions.

  • A person’s name- For example, if a person’s name is Christina Grey, then you have to use the same spelling.
  • Name of the dog breed “Greyhound.”- This is always written with an ‘e’
  • Noun, ‘gray’ referring to the basic unit of an absorbed dose of radiation in the SI system,which is equal to the absorption of one joule of energy per kilogram of material.



About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.