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

Opportunities Wing & Barrel: Sporting clays, skeet and trap shooting has evolved into a private affair where those who love the sport don’t have many public ranges to go to. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Tom Stienstra’s Outdoors notes: Deer, bears, whales and more," 7 Sep. 2019 Visitors here were treated to garlands of their own, local tribal dances, coffee, tea and evening lightshows displayed on the village’s 500-year-old distinct natural clay, stone and wood structures. Washington Post, "Saudi festival showcases green mountains, flower crowns," 30 Aug. 2019 The Planet Bee Foundation provides seed balls, tiny portable flower pots made of organic clay, dirt and seeds of flowers native to the region where they'll be planted. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Seven simple things you can do to save the bees on National Honeybee Day," 17 Aug. 2019 Marisa Merz was an artistic explorer, working in clay, paint, and ink as well as in nontraditional materials. Neil Genzlinger, BostonGlobe.com, "Marisa Merz, 93, bold explorer when art was a man’s world," 10 Aug. 2019 The building was made out of straw, clay, plaster and lime, with a living roof made from topsoil displaced by the building’s foundation. James Tarmybloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Eco-mansions can hold hidden bargains for buyers," 9 Aug. 2019 The creation of the hens begins with red clay, found near Aix-en-Provence. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "I Cannot Stop Talking About These French Ceramic Hens," 26 July 2019 These modern babes are multi-tasking and formulated with buzzy ingredients such as clay, charcoal, and seaweed. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "I Tried Nair’s New Hair-Removal Masks — Here’s What Happened," 15 July 2019 According to the consulate, the seven artifacts, most of which are figures of people or animals, are made primarily of mud and clay, date back to the period between 300 B.C. and 600 A.C. and come from areas of western Mexico along the Pacific Coast. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Seattle police return artifacts found at estate sale to Mexican government," 21 Nov. 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

14 Oct 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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