clay

noun, often attributive \ ˈklā \

Definition of clay

1 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
2 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

clayey

play \ˈklā-ē\ adjective

clayish

play \ˈklā-ish\ adjective

claylike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Recent Examples of clay from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of clay

Middle English, from Old English clǣg; akin to Old High German klīwa bran, Latin gluten glue, Middle Greek glia


Clay

biographical name \ ˈklā \

Definition of Clay

Henry 1777–1852 American statesman and orator

Clay

biographical name

Definition of Clay

Lucius Du Bi*gnon play \du̇-ˈbin-yən\ 1897–1978 American general

CLAY Defined for English Language Learners

clay

noun

Definition of clay for English Language Learners

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


CLAY Defined for Kids

clay

noun \ ˈklā \

Definition of clay for Students

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


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