Definition of quay in English:


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  • A concrete, stone, or metal platform lying alongside or projecting into water for loading and unloading ships.

    ‘It is a source of pride to see the Celtic Explorer alongside the quay in her home port of Galway.’
    • ‘The men created a world of their own on the docks, levees, plantation landings, city quays, and steamboat decks of the Mississippi River economy.’
    • ‘In 1682, the estates of East Frisia gave Brandenburg-Prussia help by allowing their ships to use her quays in Emden - a large harbour on the North Sea.’
    • ‘It is a sailing resort with all the related services such as mooring on floating bridges, catways, quays, fuel, showers, daily weather reports and boat hire.’
    • ‘If he lived by a port, then his duties would require him to deal with the maintenance of ships and quays.’
    • ‘Up to c. 1700, Britain's ports had been largely natural coastal or riverside sites, sometimes with quays and wharfs for lading, and beaching vessels at low tide.’
    • ‘Within an hour, a huge crowd had gathered to watch it enter the new harbour and berth at the quay.’
    • ‘By searching ports and quays, diving teams are familiarising themselves with their layout so that in future it will be easier to spot anything out of the ordinary.’
    • ‘As he examined the excellent facilities and looked out over the rough waters along the quays yesterday, he vowed to remain champion.’
    • ‘Originally they were quays with small jetties built out to serve shipping.’
    • ‘London was a port and a sequence of waterfronts, quays, and warehouses developed along the north bank of the Thames.’
    • ‘Harbour facilities, such as timber quays, jetties and revetments were recorded at many of the ports.’
    • ‘Native trading schooners lined the quays, and the fragrance of cocoa beans drying in the sun made us remember that Grenada is the ‘Isle of Spice’.’
    • ‘The stone edge of the quay is still to be seen, and it doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to picture it as it was a century ago.’
    • ‘He was certainly a member of the merchant gild by 1385, when he was also renting from the gild a room on the common quay.’
    • ‘The granary is an old 19th century grainstore, six storeys high, fronting onto the river Suir whose quays were once crowded with sailing ships.’
    • ‘In Istanbul, too, there was the problem of privately owned areas that had to be expropriated to make way for the new docks and quays.’
    • ‘Canary Wharf was its central quay, the bustling, prosperous heart of a colonial trading empire on which the sun never set.’
    • ‘It is also no surprise that Waterford quays became known as the ‘noblest quay in Europe’ at that time.’
    • ‘There are some high quality office spaces available at present, particularly along the quays and docklands area.’
    dock, wharf, pier, harbour, berth, jetty, landing, landing stage, landing place, slipway, marina, waterfront, sea wall, embankment
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/kē/ /ki/


Late Middle English key, from Old French kay, of Celtic origin. The change of spelling in the late 17th century was influenced by the modern French spelling quai.