clay

noun, often attributive
\ˈklā \

Definition of clay 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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

2a : 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

biographical name (1)
\ˈklā \

Definition of Clay (Entry 2 of 3)

Henry 1777–1852 American statesman and orator

Clay

biographical name (2)

Definition of Clay (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from clay

Noun

clayey \ˈklā-​ē \ adjective
clayish \ˈklā-​ish \ adjective
claylike \-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of clay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After getting only a minimal amount of clay in his hairline and snapping a few selfies, Noah appears to understand the power of a good DIY spa treatment. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Noah Centineo Tried Braiding a Fan’s Hair and Used Multiple Face Masks," 21 Sep. 2018 After getting only a minimal amount of clay in his hairline and snapping a few requisite selfies, Centineo appears to understand the power of a good DIY spa treatment. Andrea Park, Allure, "We Challenged Noah Centineo to Try Our Favorite Beauty Treatments and the Results Are Amazing," 21 Sep. 2018 Mellon also nurtured local craftspeople, who created the handmade clay pots and the rustic wattle fencing, and established a carpentry workshop that could replicate antique furniture. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside Tory Burch’s Lovingly Restored Antigua Getaway," 15 Aug. 2018 Another trick: Store garlic under an unglazed clay flower pot in a cupboard, creating a small humidor without cutting off air circulation, which can lead to rot. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "7 Ways You Can Make Your Garlic Last Longer," 27 July 2018 The bill: Servers suggest dumplings to share, and a clay pot for each individual diner. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "One of Seattle’s best dumpling restaurants comes to Bellevue," 16 July 2018 But there has been no one like him on clay in any era. New York Times, "Rafael Nadal Extends His Reign With an 11th French Open Title," 10 June 2018 The tournament is the only ATP event on clay in North America. Dale Robertson, Houston Chronicle, "Five former champions to compete at US Men's Clay Court Championship in April," 2 Mar. 2018 While the other ideas involved turning the tea lights into faces with crooked, fiery noses, this craft cleverly conceals the flame with a bit of clay. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Dollar-Store Tea Lights Make the Most Boo-tiful Halloween Ghosts Ever," 2 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of clay

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for clay

Noun

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

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Learn More about clay

Dictionary Entries near clay

claw-tailed

claw tool

claxon

clay

Clay

claybank

clayboard

Statistics for clay

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clay

The first known use of clay was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for clay

clay

noun

English Language Learners Definition of clay

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

clay

noun
\ˈklā \

Kids Definition of clay

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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More from Merriam-Webster on clay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clay

Spanish Central: Translation of clay

Nglish: Translation of clay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clay for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about clay

Comments on clay

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