noun, often attributive \ˈklā\

: a heavy, sticky material from the earth that is made into different shapes and that becomes hard when it is baked or dried

Full Definition of CLAY

a :  an earthy material that is plastic when moist but hard when fired, that is composed mainly of fine particles of hydrous aluminum silicates and other minerals, and that is used for brick, tile, and pottery; specifically :  soil composed chiefly of this material having particles less than a specified size
b :  earth, mud
a :  a substance that resembles clay in plasticity and is used for modeling
b :  the human body as distinguished from the spirit
c :  fundamental nature or character <the common clay>
clay·ey \ˈklā-ē\ adjective
clay·ish \ˈklā-ish\ adjective
clay·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of CLAY

  1. <had the feeling that the natives were of a different clay than us and that neither side would ever understand the other>

Origin of CLAY

Middle English, from Old English clǣg; akin to Old High German klīwa bran, Latin gluten glue, Middle Greek glia
First Known Use: before 12th century


biographical name \ˈklā\

Definition of CLAY

Henry 1777–1852 Am. statesman & orator


biographical name

Definition of CLAY

Lucius Du Bi*gnon \d-ˈbin-yən\ 1897–1978 Am. gen.
CLAYLIKE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈklā\

Definition of CLAY for Kids

:  an earthy material that is sticky and easily molded when wet and hard when baked
:  a substance like clay that is used for modeling


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