[kley] /kleɪ/
a natural earthy material that is plastic when wet, consisting essentially of hydrated silicates of aluminum: used for making bricks, pottery, etc.
earth; mud.
earth, especially regarded as the material from which the human body was formed.
the human body, especially as distinguished from the spirit or soul; the flesh.
human character as estimated according to fineness of constitution, endowments, etc.:
"The saints and heroes seem of a different clay from most of us."
verb (used with object)
to treat or mix with clay; cover, daub, or fill with clay.
to filter through clay.
before 1000; Middle English; Old English clǣg, cognate with Dutch, German Klei, akin to glue
Related forms
claylike, adjective
unclayed, adjective


[kley] /kleɪ/
a lusterless serge having a rough texture.
Also called clay worsted.
perhaps short for clay drab clay-colored cloth


[kley] /kleɪ/
Bertha M (Charlotte Monica Braeme) 1836–84, English author: originator of a long series of romantic novels.
Cassius Marcellus, 1810–1903, U.S. antislavery leader and diplomat.
Cassius Marcellus, Jr. original name of Muhammad Ali.
Henry, 1777–1852, U.S. statesman and orator.
Lucius (DuBignon)
[doo-bin-yon] /ˌdu bɪnˈyɒn/ (Show IPA),
1897–1978, U.S. general.
a male given name.
Example Sentences for clay
Properly cased leather should be cool to the touch, and should feel like wet clay.
For this reason clay pipes in particular are often held by the stem.
For the former he made clay models for study and a clay figure.
Naan, however, is baked in a tandoor or clay oven and is rarely prepared at home.
The clay is first ground and mixed with water to the desired consistency.
The clay is then pressed into steel moulds with a hydraulic press.
They are very durable and considered more handsome than clay bricks by some.
They are usable across this range as they are lighter than clay bricks.
Inlaying cured or uncured clay tiles or chips to create mosaics.
Multimedia combining clay with wire, paper, beads, charms, stamps, fabric, etc.
British Dictionary definitions for clay
clay (kleɪ)
1.  a very fine-grained material that consists of hydrated aluminium silicate, quartz, and organic fragments and occurs as sedimentary rocks, soils, and other deposits. It becomes plastic when moist but hardens on heating and is used in the manufacture of bricks, cement, ceramics, etcRelated: figuline
2.  earth or mud in general
3.  poetic the material of the human body
4.  (tr) to cover or mix with clay
Related: figuline
[Old English clǣg; related to Old High German klīa, Norwegian kli, Latin glūs glue, Greek gloios sticky oil]

Clay (kleɪ)
1.  See Muhammad Ali Cassius
2.  Henry. 1777--1852, US statesman and orator; secretary of state (1825--29)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin and History for clay
O.E. clæg "stiff, sticky earth; clay," from W.Gmc. *klaijaz, from PIE base *glei "to stick together" (cf. Gk. gloios "sticky matter," L. glus, gluten, O.Slav. glina "clay"). Clay pigeon is from 1888.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clay in Science
A stiff, sticky sedimentary material that is soft and pliable when wet and consists mainly of various silicates of aluminum. Clay particles are smaller than silt, having a diameter less than 0.0039 mm. Clay is widely used to make bricks, pottery, and tiles.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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clay in the Bible

This word is used of sediment found in pits or in streets (Isa. 57:20; Jer. 38:60), of dust mixed with spittle (John 9:6), and of potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14; Jer. 18:1-6; Rom. 9:21). Clay was used for sealing (Job 38:14; Jer. 32:14). Our Lord's tomb may have been thus sealed (Matt. 27:66). The practice of sealing doors with clay is still common in the East. Clay was also in primitive times used for mortar (Gen. 11:3). The "clay ground" in which the large vessels of the temple were cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17) was a compact loam fitted for the purpose. The expression literally rendered is, "in the thickness of the ground,", meaning, "in stiff ground" or in clay.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with clay


In addition to the idiom beginning with clay, also see feet of clay.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Rhymes with clay

Difficulty index for clay

All English speakers likely know this word

Tile value for clay

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with clay