The term Gray Jedi, or Gray, had two meanings. First, it was used by Jedi and Sith to describe Force-users who walked the line between the light and dark sides of the Force without surrendering to the dark side, and second, it described Jedi who distanced themselves from the Jedi High Council and operated outside the strictures of the Jedi Code. However, those who were considered to be true Gray Jedi met both qualifications and did not belong to any particular Force tradition. One example was Jolee Bindo, a former Jedi Padawan and a Gray Jedi that served the Old Republic.
Although the term did not directly refer to those who were capable of using both light and dark side Force abilities, all Gray Jedi could do so. The term was similar to that of “Dark Jedi” in that it could refer to any Force-user, and not only to Jedi.
The term was sometimes used to refer to unorthodox or dissident Jedi who did not meet the strictest requirements of being a Gray Jedi. For example, the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn was thought of by some members of the Jedi Order as a Gray Jedi for his disagreements with the High Council. A group of renegade Jedi called the Gray Paladins used the term this way to describe themselves – they advocated minimal reliance on the Force and the use of blasters, but otherwise held to the Jedi Code.
The term dated back as far as the Old Sith Wars, when the High Council attempted to consolidate their power and centralize the Order. Some Jedi felt that the Council did not have the authority to reinterpret the Jedi Code, and considered themselves beholden only to the Force. These early Gray Jedi clashed with the Council over new strictures of the Code, such as those barring attachment or restricting training. During this time period, Gray Jedi became associated with a certain variety of robe; Bindo wore a version of these robes. The term was later used by the New Jedi Order to refer to entire Force traditions that held views which differed from that of the Jedi, but did not embrace the dark side. The Jensaarai and the Imperial Knights were two such organizations.