Definition of cloying
: disgusting or distasteful by reason of excess <cloying sweetness>; also : excessively sweet or sentimental <a cloying romantic comedy> <Her coyness grows cloying after a while … — Elysa Gardner>
Examples of cloying in a sentence
After a while, the softness of his voice becomes cloying.
<the cloying sentiments of so many Mother's Day cards>
Did You Know?
Can one desire too much of a good thing? asks Rosalind in William Shakespeare's play As You Like It. "Cloying" suggests that you can, because it implies a repugnant excess of something that might be pleasing in smaller doses. An exploration into the history of "cloying," however, leads us eventually to roots that are neither sweet nor excessive, but rather tough as nails. Cloying derives from the verb "cloy," which now means "to supply or indulge to excess," but which once meant "to clog" and earlier "to prick a horse with a nail in shoeing." "Cloy" itself traces via Middle English to Anglo-French encloer (which also meant "to prick a horse with a nail in shoeing") and ultimately to the Latin clavus, meaning "nail."
Origin and Etymology of cloying
First Known Use: 1594
CLOYING Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cloying for English Language Learners
: too sweet, pleasant, or emotional
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up cloying? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).