Gray or Grey? (UK and US)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Gray" and "Grey"?

"Gray" and "grey" are used in the US and UK, but, to play it safe, adhere to the following:
  • If you're following US writing conventions, write "gray."
  • If you're following UK writing conventions, write "grey."
grey or gray?

More about "Gray" and "Grey"

The color/colour between black and white can be written "gray" or "grey."

In the US, the spelling "gray" is far more popular than "grey," and this has been the case since at least the early 19th century. As a result, many Americans consider "grey" to be a spelling mistake.

Outside the US, the spelling "grey" (which has been around for nearly 1,300 years) still dominates.

It Was "Grey"

There is notable leniency with the spelling of "grey" and "gray." "Grey" is an accepted variant in the US (evidence from the US corpus), and "gray" is becoming increasingly popular outside the US.

However, for now, to keep safe and to ensure you don't annoy your readers, use "gray" if you follow US writing conventions but "grey" if you follow UK writing conventions.

A Video Summary

Watch a video showing 10 big differences between British English and American English.

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