Yesterday I wrote "gray" in the meaning of the color, but my friend corrected me and told me to write "grey". Today I checked in the dictionary and I found that they are both correct for the same meaning. So, now I just have doubt which one of them is more common in use.


1 Answer 1


You're right, they are both correct. Which one is better depends on who you ask. In the USA, it's spelled "gray"¹ and in the UK, it's spelled "grey". A fun mnemonic for this is A for America, E for England. Plenty of other words do this also. Color/colour, fiber/fibre, liter/litre, etc.

The population of the USA is higher so gray is technically more common. Use the one that matches the country you're in and the people you're writing for.

If you're in neither country, it doesn't really matter which one you use. Pick one you like and stick with it.

¹ To be fair, I'm from the USA, and I find myself frequently writing "grey" by accident sometimes. It's certainly not a hard and fast rule, and you could likely get away with either one.

  • @AlanCarmack Check out these Google Ngrams: American and british. Also, pretty much every link I can find on Google when I search gray vs grey says the same thing. Sure, using grey in AME, or gray in BRE isn't wrong per se, but it's clearly less common.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Mar 24, 2016 at 0:23
  • 1
    Yeah, I've upvoted your answer, although to me the UK/US difference is not as regularized as that of the other examples you provide. Maybe as a kid I picked up grey somewhere. Mar 24, 2016 at 0:42
  • 1
    Remember HTML color names, Version 7 and earlier of IE only accepted gray for #080808, and only lightgrey for #D3D3D3.
    – James K
    Aug 31, 2017 at 14:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .