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.

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

/treɪ//trā/