Gray area


an undefined situation or subject that does not seem to conform to known categories or rules; an intermediate area or topic that is not clearly defined
Indeterminate territory, undefined position, neither here nor there. For example, There’s a large gray area between what is legal and what is not. This term, which uses gray in the sense of “neither black nor white” (or halfway between the two), dates only from the mid-1900s.


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  • Grayback

    [grey-bak] /ˈgreɪˌbæk/ noun 1. any of various marine and aquatic animals that are dark above and light-colored or white below, as the , the alewife, certain whitefish, and certain sandpipers. 2. Informal. a Confederate soldier.

  • Graybar land

    jargon The place you go while you’re staring at a computer that’s processing something very slowly (while you watch the grey bar creep across the screen). “I was in graybar land for hours, waiting for that CAD rendering”. (1997-04-17)

  • Gray bar motel

    noun phrase Jail; prison: These days, the Gray Bar Motel is a synonym for ”the bucket,” which means jail [1990s+ Los Angeles police; said to have been the name of the Lincoln Heights police station; a place displaying gray prison bars; earlier terms like Graybar Hotel and Graystone College are found by the 1930s]

  • Graybeard

    [grey-beerd] /ˈgreɪˌbɪərd/ noun 1. Sometimes Disparaging. a man whose beard is gray; old man; sage. 2. . noun A very senior pilot (1970s+ Airline)

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