See also: Gravel

English

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Gravel: fragments of rocks
 
A gravel road

Etymology

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From Middle English gravel, grauel, from Old French gravele, diminutive of grave (gravel, seashore), from Medieval Latin grava, ultimately from Proto-Celtic *grāwā (gravel, pebbles) (compare Breton groa, Cornish grow, Welsh gro), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰroh₁weh₂, from *gʰreh₁w- (to grind). Compare also Old English græfa (coal).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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gravel (usually uncountable, plural gravels)

  1. (uncountable) Small fragments of rock, used for laying on the beds of roads and railways, and as ballast.
  2. A type or grade of small rocks, differentiated by mineral type, size range, or other characteristics.
  3. (uncountable, geology) A particle from 2 to 64 mm in diameter, following the Wentworth scale.
    Coordinate terms: (>256 mm) boulder, (64–256 mm) cobble, (62.5 μm – 2 mm) sand, (3.9–62.5 μm) silt, (0.98–3.9 μm) clay, (0.95–977 nm) colloid
  4. (uncountable, archaic) Kidney stones; a deposit of small calculous concretions in the kidneys and the urinary or gall bladder; also, the disease of which they are a symptom.
    • 1848, J. S. Skinner & Son, editor, The Plough, The Loom and the Anvil[1], volume I, Philadelphia: J. S. Skinner & Son, page 137:
      The great use of coffee in France is supposed to have abated the prevalency of the gravel, for where coffee is used as a constant beverage, the gravel and the gout are scarcely known.
  5. A lameness in the foot of a horse, usually caused by an abscess.
    • 1817, William Johnson, editor, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature, E. F. Backus, page 211:
      The defendant below hired the horse to go from Cocksackie to Schodack, and the next day after his arrival at the latter place, the horse was found to be lame in one foot; and the lameness increasing, the defendant below was obliged to leave the horse there, and hire another with which to return. About four weeks after, the horse was brought home, and showed signs of gravel working out above the hoof.
    • 1972, James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, St. Martin's Press, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 22:
      'Looks like pus in the foot to me.'
      'I'll bet you're right,' Farnon said. 'They call it gravel around here, by the way. What do you suggest we do about it?'
  6. (rare) Inability to see at night; night blindness.
    • 1943, Bell Irvin Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 255:
      A malady that was rare, but which because of its peculiarity elicited much comment, was "night blindness" or "gravel."
  7. (uncountable, cycling) gravel cycling, a discipline in cycling different from road cycling, mountain biking or cyclocross, for a large part on gravel roads, typically with a dedicated gravel bike

Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

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Verb

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gravel (third-person singular simple present gravels, present participle gravelling or graveling, simple past and past participle gravelled or graveled)

  1. (transitive) To apply a layer of gravel to the surface of a road, etc.
    • 1905, John F. Hume, The Abolitionists[2]:
      We kept quietly on our way until we reached a place in the road that had been freshly graveled, and where the surface was covered with stones just suited to our use.
  2. (transitive) To puzzle or annoy.
    • 1922, Herbert Quick, Vandemark's Folly[3]:
      It graveled me like sixty to pay such a price, but I had to do it because the season was just between hay and grass.
  3. (transitive) To run (as a ship) upon the gravel or beach; to run aground; to cause to stick fast in gravel or sand.
    • 1605, William Camden, “Grave Speeches and wittie Apothegms of worthy Personages of this Realm in former times,” in Remaines Concerning Britain, London: Simon Miller, sixth impression, 1657, p. 243, [4]
      William Conqerour when he invaded this Iland, chanced at his arrival to be gravelled, and one of his feet stuck so fast in the sand, that he fell to the ground.
  4. (transitive) To check or stop; to confound; to perplex.
    • 1579, Sir Thomas North, tr., Plutarch's Lives, The Life of Marcus Antonius:
      The physician was so gravelled and amazed withal, that he had not a word more to say.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals)]:
      When you were gravelled for lack of matter.
    • 1830, Joseph Plumb Martin, “Ch. VIII”, in A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier:
      [] I arrived at a spot where I was completely gravelled, and could go no farther one way or the other; []
  5. (transitive) To hurt or lame (a horse) by gravel lodged between the shoe and foot.
  6. (transitive, slang, archaic) To prostrate; to beat to the ground.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for gravel”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)

Usage notes

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Translations

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Anagrams

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Dutch

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English gravel.

Pronunciation

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  • Audio:(file)
  • Hyphenation: gra‧vel

Noun

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gravel m or n (uncountable)

  1. claycourt (surface for playing tennis)

Italian

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Etymology

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Pseudo-anglicism, derived from gravel. First attested in 2015.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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gravel f (invariable)

  1. durable bicycle capable of riding over gravel or other hard terrain; mountain bike

Noun

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gravel m or f (invariable)

  1. bicycling competition on gravel or other hard terrain

Adjective

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gravel (invariable)

  1. (relational) mountain bike

Scots

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Etymology

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Inherited from Middle English grauayle, from Old French gravele (sand).

Noun

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gravel (plural gravelis)

  1. (Middle Scots) sand, gravel
    • c1400, Troy-bk, Die Fragmente des Trojankrieges:
      The stryndes … Rynnand throw gravaile quhyt & clene
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. (Middle Scots, in the plural) pebbles
  3. the disease so named