clay

noun, often attributive
\ ˈklā How to pronounce clay (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Clay (audio) \

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 How to pronounce du̇-ˈbin-yən (audio)\ 1897–1978 American general

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Other Words from clay

Noun

clayey \ ˈklā-​ē How to pronounce clayey (audio) \ adjective
clayish \ ˈklā-​ish How to pronounce clayish (audio) \ adjective
claylike \ ˈklā-​ˌlīk How to pronounce claylike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of clay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All are made with Tarte's famous Amazon clay formula and super-blendable pigment. Marci Robin, Allure, "Tarte Collaborated With YouTuber Adelaine Morin on a Vibrant New Eye and Cheek Palette," 7 Apr. 2019 The first experiment entailed growing red romaine lettuce in pillows of clay instead of soil. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How NASA is learning to grow plants in space and on other worlds," 21 Sep. 2018 The soft clay then has to be fired, which might require a trip to your local kiln. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "New 3D printer takes the mess out of ceramics," 11 Dec. 2018 The clay that borders Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Gary, stretching west to where I-294 is today and south to Kankakee, is derived from drift deposited by the last northern Illinois glacier. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Architecture / News Everything you ever needed to know about the Chicago common brick," 2 May 2018 The clay used here moisturizes skin, absorbs excess oil, and pulls out toxins from the skin. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Tea Is the Secret Ingredient in These Genius DIY Bath Soaks," 5 May 2017 Hell Creek — which spans Montana, both Dakotas and Wyoming — is a fossil treasure trove that includes numerous types of dinosaurs, mammals, reptiles and fish trapped in clay and stone from 65 to 70 million years ago. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Snapshot of extinction: Fossils show day of killer asteroid," 3 Apr. 2019 The new skin-care brand is currently making its debut on Amazon, and encompasses just four carefully curated items: vitamin C capsules, a shea cream, a retinol serum, and a clay mask, ranging in price from $34 to $68. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Amazon Just Launched WorksBeauty, a New Skin-Care Line That Literally Guarantees Fast Results," 2 Apr. 2019 These are pits usually about 8 feet deep and lined with clay to limit leaks. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Florence dropped so much rain that hog waste is spilling out of lagoons," 18 Sep. 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

13 May 2019

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 How to pronounce clay (audio) \

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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