Gray vs Grey – What is the Difference?

Gray vs Grey?

Whether you are looking at the color, looking at the skies, or thinking about how you are feeling, the word gray is used in several situations. Or is it grey that we are supposed to use?

Yes, there seems to be some confusion about which spelling is actually correct. So which is it? Gray or Grey?

The answer: BOTH!

The two versions of gray/grey actually share the same meaning: they refer to the color of a neutral tone which is found between black and white, and which typically is used to express gloominess, dullness and overall dreariness and monotony.

Why the Difference?

The main difference between the terms gray and grey is the spelling, and this originates in the United States vs. United Kingdom version of the word. In the US, “gray” is more popular and is the common spelling of choice, while in the UK, it is typically “grey” which individuals will use.

Essentially, they are different spellings of the exact same word. They have the same meanings, and both have their origins in Old English. As such, both are acceptable ways to write the word or use it in a sentence.

While individuals may have their own reasons for distinguishing one spelling for certain situations over another, both spellings are inherently the same, including when used in other forms of the word, such as graying (greying) or gray area (grey area).

Notably however, words that specifically use gray/grey, such as “greyhound” or “grayling,” are always spelled with an e and a respectively.

While you may have seen both versions, you can rest assured knowing that in the gray vs grey debate, either is acceptable, and you don’t have to worry about knowing when to use which!

Like this post? Check out this article on how to properly use Affect and Effect.