1540–50; cloy + -ing2

cloyingly, adverb
uncloying, adjective Unabridged


verb (used with object)
to weary by an excess of food, sweetness, pleasure, etc.; surfeit; satiate.
verb (used without object)
to become uninteresting or distasteful through overabundance: A diet of cake and candy soon cloys.

1350–1400; aphetic variant of Middle English acloyen < Middle French enclo(y)er < Late Latin inclāvāre to nail in, equivalent to in- in-2 + -clāvāre, verbal derivative of clāvus nail

overcloy, verb (used with object)
uncloyed, adjective

1. glut, sate, bore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cloy (klɔɪ)
to make weary or cause weariness through an excess of something initially pleasurable or sweet
[C14 (originally: to nail, hence, to obstruct): from earlier acloyen, from Old French encloer, from Medieval Latin inclavāre, from Latin clāvāre to nail, from clāvus a nail]

cloying (ˈklɔɪɪŋ)
initially pleasurable or sweet but wearying in excess

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1530, aphetic of Anglo-Norm. acloyer, from O.Fr. enclouer "to fasten with a nail, hinder, cripple a horse by driving a nail into the hoof," from clou "a nail," from V.L. inclavare, from L. clavus "a nail" (see slot (2)). Meaning "to fill to loathing, surfeit" is first recorded 1530.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The flesh was creamy and sweet, though far from cloying.
Palate entry is delightfully off-dry to sweet but neither cloying nor heavy.
At other times, though, it is cloying and even claustrophobic.
They also permit a degree of whimsy that may seem cloying in a restaurant.
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