Meaning of CLAY in English


I. ˈklā noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English clǣg; akin to Old Saxon klei clay, Middle Dutch clei, Old High German klīwa bran, Late Latin glut-, glus glue, Middle Greek glia, Lithuanian glitùs slippery and probably to Latin galla gall on a plant — more at gall


a. : a widely distributed colloidal lusterless earthy substance, plastic when moist but permanently hard when fired, that is composed primarily of decomposed igneous and metamorphic rocks rich in the mineral feldspar in the form of crystalline grains less than .002 mm in diameter, whose essential constituents are kaolinite and other hydrous aluminous minerals and fine particles, and that is used widely in the manufacture of such articles as porcelain, building blocks, sewer pipe, tile, and earthenware or in its raw form in paper manufacture, filtration, and oil refining

b. : clay soil

c. : earth especially when moist


a. : a claylike substance ; especially : one used by a potter or sculptor

b. : the mortal human body as distinguished from an immortal spirit animating it

c. : the human character regarded as serving the purpose of a divine creator

aspirants to be noble clay plastic under the Almighty effort — R.W.Emerson

d. : nature 3, ability , endowment

common clay

the stupid feeling of employers that they are of a different clay — O.W.Holmes †1935


a. : pipe clay

b. : a clay tobacco pipe

4. : clay pigeon

5. : a moderate to strong yellowish brown that is lighter than tobacco brown and slightly yellower and lighter than Aztec

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to treat with clay: as

a. : to cover, daub, plaster, or dress with clay — often used with up

clay up an auto body model

b. : to apply clay to (soil) : mix clay into

c. : to filter through clay


variant of clee

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.