n. pl. gra·vies
a. The juices that drip from cooking meat.
b. A sauce made by thickening and seasoning these juices.
a. Money, profit, or benefit easily or illicitly gained.
b. Payment or benefit in excess of what is expected or required.
[Middle English grave, sauce for fish, fowl, or rabbit made from broth, almond milk, spices, and wine, from Middle French gravé, possibly a misreading of grané, meat served in broth, from grain, grain, the solid pieces in a dish consisting of solids and liquids, from Old French, grain, from Latin grānum; see gə-no- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.