Definition of grayling in US English:



  • 1An edible freshwater fish of Eurasia and North America that is silvery-gray with horizontal violet stripes and has a long, high dorsal fin.

    Genus Thymallus, family Salmonidae: several species

    • ‘The grayling fishing in the summer months can certainly be exciting when fishing with a dry fly.’
    • ‘By carrying out the project we hope to attract fish, such as chub, dace, grayling and trout as well as other wildlife back to this particular stretch of river.’
    • ‘Like all salmonids the grayling has a small adipose fin behind the dorsal fin.’
    • ‘Winter grayling fishing on a cold riverbank may not be to everyone's taste but it offers a welcome antidote to a severe case of the winter fishing blues.’
    • ‘Most species of river fish will be surveyed including trout, grayling, dace, barbel, chub and pike.’
  • 2A mainly brown European butterfly which has wings with bright eyespots and grayish undersides.

    Hipparchia semele, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae

    • ‘This Grayling Butterfly is sunning itself on the bark of a large Pine tree, if I had not seen it pitch it probably would have gone undetected.’
    • ‘The Grayling has a very coastal distribution in Scotland being found on rocky cliffs, dunes, grassland, heathland or along woodland paths but all these diverse habitats are characterised by having open bare areas of soil or stony ground which receive the full warmth of the sun.’
    • ‘The grayling butterfly also attracts lurking predators by displaying the eye-spots, but at the same time diverts their attention to the unimportant parts of their body.’
    • ‘The grayling is a common heathland butterfly.’
    • ‘Has anyone come across the magnificent Banded Grayling Butterfly in this area in recent years?’


Middle English: from gray (variant of grey) + -ling.