Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An unconsolidated mixture of rock fragments or pebbles.
  • n. Pathology The sandlike granular material of urinary calculi.
  • transitive v. To apply a surface of rock fragments or pebbles to.
  • transitive v. To confuse; perplex.
  • transitive v. Informal To irritate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Small fragments of rock, used for laying on the beds of roads and railroads, and as ballast.
  • n. A type or grade of small rocks, differentiated by mineral type, size range, or other characteristics.
  • n. A particle from 2 to 64 mm in diameter, following the Wentworth scale
  • n. 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.
  • v. To apply a layer of gravel to the surface of a road, etc.
  • v. To puzzle or annoy
  • v. To run (as a ship) upon the gravel or beach; to run aground; to cause to stick fast in gravel or sand.
  • v. To check or stop; to embarrass; to perplex.
  • v. To hurt or lame (a horse) by gravel lodged between the shoe and foot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Small stones, or fragments of stone; very small pebbles, often intermixed with particles of sand.
  • n. A deposit of small calculous concretions in the kidneys and the urinary or gall bladder; also, the disease of which they are a symptom.
  • transitive v. To cover with gravel.
  • transitive v. To run (as a ship) upon the gravel or beach; to run aground; to cause to stick fast in gravel or sand.
  • transitive v. To check or stop; to embarrass; to perplex.
  • transitive v. To hurt or lame (a horse) by gravel lodged between the shoe and foot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Coarse sand; a mass of pebbles or of pebbles and sand mixed; stone in a mass of small irregular fragments.
  • n. Specifically, in geology, the rolled and water-worn material formed from fragments of rock under the combined influence of atmospheric agencies and currents of water.
  • n. In pathology, small concretions or calculi resembling sand or gravel which form in the kidneys, pass along the ureters to the bladder, and are expelled with the urine; the disease or morbid state characterized by such concretions.
  • n. In brewing, the appearance of yeast-cells swimming in clear beer in the form of fine gravel.
  • To cover with gravel; fill or choke with gravel: as, to gravel a walk; to gravel a fountain.
  • To bury.
  • To cause to stick in gravel or sand.
  • Hence To bring to a standstill through perplexity; embarrass; puzzle; nonplus.
  • To hurt the foot of, as a horse, by the lodging of gravel under the shoe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cover with gravel
  • n. rock fragments and pebbles
  • v. be a mystery or bewildering to
  • v. cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French gravele, diminutive of grave, pebbly shore, of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French gravele, diminutive of grave ("gravel", "seashore"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Idle speculation makes me think that excluding gravel from the mixture may make the surface more uniform and free from discontinuities (slight depressions where gravel is on the surface, voids where gravel comes out of the mixture during curing, etc.) which could be the starting point for blistering (air would expand at a much higher rate than concrete when heated, and the membrane coating might not adhere as well to the gravel).

    House Project Update for 7 December 02

  • Most of our gravel is dark and covered with dark green moss.

    All About Jigs

  • Here we had carried many loads of gravel from the creek-bed, so that it was dry and warm, a pleasant basking place; and here, one afternoon, I was drowsing, half asleep, over a volume of Mendenhall. 4 I was so comfortable and secure that even his flaming lyrics failed to stir me.

    Chapter 20: A Lost Oligarch

  • They saw him draw a bucket of gravel from the hole and tilt it on the edge of the dump.

    Too Much Gold

  • George find a place to stake a claim and takes a pan of gravel from the creek bed and finds gold streaks the black sand at the bottom of the pan.

    “Why this longing for life? It is a game which no man wins.”

  • Lately he has been digging up small orchids growing in gravel around the community he lives.

    The Bright Side of Frugality

  • It's a gorgeous tune, and he was, what, seventeen? but the idea of "trough" as the basic unit of hearts, like a cubic yard of gravel, is ... upsetting.

    The Hills of Tomorrow

  • I dig the real plants, and the gravel is conveniently bite-sized, so I can pick it up and toss it around with my mouth.

    Even so, Spring -- quickly come

  • We had ridden about 11 miles at this point -- all of it uphill and in gravel ... well I guess I should also mention the loose rocks and sand.

    Albloggerque

  • Together they controlled the Great Arab Company for Investment and Development, which imported gravel through the Karni checkpoint; the al-Motawaset Company, which bought gravel from the Great Arab Company and made cement; and the al-Sheik Zayid construction project.

    In a Ruined Country

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • ...he would drive determinedly by one of the stores to tease me ... only to turn toward another one suddenly, in a gravel of surprise.

    - William Gass, The Tunnel

    May 18, 2009

  • Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as having a particle size of 2 to 64 millimetres.

    February 26, 2007