Definition of tray in US English:

tray

noun

  • A flat, shallow container with a raised rim, typically used for carrying food and drink, or for holding small items.

    ‘they ate supper off a tray in front of the fire’
    ‘a baking tray’
    ‘seed trays’
    • ‘If no ground is available, let him sow seeds in empty yoghurt containers or used mushroom trays.’
    • ‘Brad and Julia tramped up the stairs, each carrying a tray laden with food and cups of coffee.’
    • ‘They each ordered a coffee and a muffin, and carried their trays to the far corner of the restaurant.’
    • ‘To them can be attached numerous racks, trays and dividers for carrying all manner of cargo.’
    • ‘They were explaining the layout of the food trays, and they looked like they were having a great time in zero gravity.’
    • ‘They also had to return the empty food trays and ended up staying for lunch most days.’
    • ‘They got all the food onto the trays and went out into the cafeteria to begin serving.’
    • ‘The arrival of the landlord with a tray of food and bottles of beer and wine interrupted them.’
    • ‘He looked worse than any of the others, as he carried a tray of what I assumed to be coffee.’
    • ‘She placed the cup on her hand on the tray he was carrying and started walking toward Duke.’
    • ‘The floor is rattling with empty beer bottles and polystyrene food trays.’
    • ‘She scanned the room again and saw a pile of presents stacked on top of her food tray.’
    • ‘There were already a good number of people eating and several other people scurrying around with trays full of food.’
    • ‘He watched as a line of servers carried silver trays stacked with food in the direction the men had gone.’
    • ‘The mixture is then drained, put in shallow wooden trays and covered by pinholed plastic.’
    • ‘When cold, pour it into an ice tray or other freezer container and pop it in the freezer.’
    • ‘She would carry the tray across the room and set it down on the little table beside him.’
    • ‘Miranda dismissed the other servants as she proceeded to prepare a tray of food and drink.’
    • ‘If you leave them too long in shallow trays they grow extremely long tap roots which wind around and get tangled up.’
    • ‘He carried the tray of warm food up the precarious wooden stairs and opened the door.’
    platter, plate, dish
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Old English trīg, from the Germanic base of tree; the primary sense may have been ‘wooden container’.

Pronunciation

tray

/trā//treɪ/