Definition of clay
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 sizeb : earth, mud
2a : a substance that resembles clay in plasticity and is used for modelingb : the human body as distinguished from the spiritc : fundamental nature or character the common clay
3 : clay court
clayeyplay \ˈklā-ē\ adjective
clayishplay \ˈklā-ish\ adjective
claylikeplay \-ˌlīk\ adjective
Recent Examples of clay from the Web
In September 2011, a package containing about 1,000 clay bullae, an ancient form of inscribed identification, was received by Hobby Lobby from an Israeli dealer and accompanied by a false declaration stating that its country of origin was Israel.
Cylinder seals were used to roll impressions into clay.
The first dealer then shipped the items marked as clay or ceramic tiles to three Hobby Lobby sites in Oklahoma.
Heli back to the highlands for golf, clay shooting and glasses of moonshine on the treehouse deck.
Seafoam green vases — some with intricate designs — pair with green succulents in clay pots, silver candlesticks and mother of pearl picture frames holding family photos, a consistent combination throughout the house.
There's nothing quite like original clay-and-mortar blocks to recall a home's history—
Among the many vendors was Dick Dahlstrom, whose clay models and acrylic paintings of trucks, cars and fish drew a steady stream of visitors.
In a memo to the mayor, aldermen and city administrator, Deal said staff members have been using bentonite, an absorbent clay, to stop the leaks temporarily.
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
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of Clay
Henry 1777–1852 American statesman and orator
Definition of Clay
Lucius Du Bi*gnonplay \du̇-ˈbin-yən\ 1897–1978 American general
CLAY Defined for English Language Learners
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
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
Seen and Heard
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