\ ˈklȯi How to pronounce cloy (audio) \
cloyed; cloying; cloys

Definition of cloy

transitive verb

: to supply with an unwanted or distasteful excess usually of something originally pleasing … Cordelia has been cloyed by her sisters' excessive protestations of affection …— Rebecca West

intransitive verb

: to be or become insipid or distasteful usually through an excess of an originally pleasurable quality (such as sweetness) … curious how the lemon keeps its bite when the sweet flavours have begun to cloy, and the crispness has departed.— Eric Korn

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Choose the Right Synonym for cloy

satiate, sate, surfeit, cloy, pall, glut, gorge mean to fill to repletion. satiate and sate may sometimes imply only complete satisfaction but more often suggest repletion that has destroyed interest or desire. years of globe-trotting had satiated their interest in travel readers were sated with sensationalistic stories surfeit implies a nauseating repletion. surfeited themselves with junk food cloy stresses the disgust or boredom resulting from such surfeiting. sentimental pictures that cloy after a while pall emphasizes the loss of ability to stimulate interest or appetite. a life of leisure eventually begins to pall glut implies excess in feeding or supplying. a market glutted with diet books gorge suggests glutting to the point of bursting or choking. gorged themselves with chocolate

Examples of cloy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The museum’s sacredness to many, including me, can cloy a little. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "When a Museum Feels Like Home," 8 Feb. 2021 This is not entirely a bad thing, and the movie, which begins streaming Friday on Disney+, emerges a generally charming, sometimes cloying exercise in wildlife anthropomorphism. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Disneynature doc ‘Elephant’ is gorgeous if much too obvious (tusk, tusk)," 1 Apr. 2020 Her 2014 autobiography, A Fighting Chance, and recent stump speeches are festooned in pep club spirit and folksy blandishments, cloying bits of business that have attached themselves to her life story. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, "Warren in the Trap," 13 Feb. 2020 Well that’s because when the cookies are good, there’s little else that’s so perfectly fudgy but not dense, sweet but not cloying, satisfying, without putting you over the edge. Alex Pastron, Bon Appétit, "I Have Been to Pastry Heaven and There Are Rainbow Cookies," 4 Feb. 2020 The whole thing manages to be sweet, and funny, and not cloying in the way of so much kid-centric programming. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "The 9 Best Podcasts to Listen to This Holiday Season," 24 Dec. 2019 His bleak and jaded worldview is tempered by an unflagging, never cloying faith in love and its ability to transcend the muck and vile. Carlos Valladares,, "California Streamin’: Blake Edwards can make your heart soar and curdle at once," 4 Nov. 2019 The result is not cloying, however, and mascarpone along with blackberry sauce keep the sugar in check. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Make your mornings — or evenings — brighter with a week’s worth of waffle recipes," 19 Oct. 2019 Other brands’ seltzers were perfectly dry, but the synthetic flavors felt cloying in their own way and left an unpleasantly bitter aftertaste. Esther Mobley,, "We blind-tasted 38 hard seltzers. These were the winners (and many losers)," 20 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloy.' 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 cloy

1528, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for cloy

Middle English, to hinder, lame, alteration of acloyen to harm, maim, modification of Anglo-French encloer to nail, prick a horse with a nail in shoeing, from Medieval Latin inclavare, from Latin in + clavus nail

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Learn More about cloy

Statistics for cloy

Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cloy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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Britannica English: Translation of cloy for Arabic Speakers

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