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Color Meaning: Meaning of The Color Grey

This post is part of the Color Meaning Blog Series, detailing the meanings associated with colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, black, white, brown, pink, turquoise, gold, silver, and beige.

Gray is a cool, neutral, and balanced color. The color gray is an emotionless, moody color that is typically associated with meanings of dull, dirty, and dingy, as well as formal, conservative, and sophisticated.

The color gray is a timeless and practical color that is often associated with loss or depression. Dark, charcoal gray communicates some of the strength and mystery of black. It is a sophisticated color that lack the negativity of the color black. Light grays can carry some of the attributes of the color white.

The gray color affects the mind and body by causing unsettling feelings. Light grays are feminine in nature, while dark grays are masculine in nature.

Other meanings associated with the color gray:

  • The phrase “gray matter” refers to smarts, intelligence, brains, and intellect.
  • The saying “gray power” is used in reference to the power of the elderly or senior citizens.
  • The term “gray page” is a text-heavy page with very little contrast or white space.
  • The expression “gray-hair” is sometimes used to refer to an elderly person.
  • The phrase “gray water” refers to dirty water such as water that has been drained from a bathtub or kitchen sink.

Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color gray: charcoal, slate, iron gray, ashen, lead, mousy, gunmetal, silver, dove gray, powder grey, oyster, pearl, taupe, sere, Payne’s gray.

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Comments & Feedback:Check out what others have to say about this post!

  1. Tracy Taub

    It is time to reevaluate the color gray and to pare down the number of negative connotations it appears to hold. When considering the absolutely fabulous realizations of gray (elephants, seals, fuzzy kittens, warm sweaters, rain clouds, trees in winter, ash under a fire, oceans, rocks and boulders, almost every nuance of a winter sky), one can see that gray embodies, offsets, highlights, and supports every other color. There is a perfect shade of gray for everyone. Your own professional photo- exemplifying your creativity- has not only a gray background but a gray border. The ubiquitous appeal of black and white photos is not in fact due to either black or white, but to the juxtaposition of the myriad shades of the color gray. Time for a bit of recognition for gray.

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