Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[klam-ee] /ˈklæm i/
adjective, clammier, clammiest.
covered with a cold, sticky moisture; cold and damp:
clammy hands.
sickly; morbid:
She had a clammy feeling that something was wrong at home.
Origin of clammy
1350-1400; Middle English, equivalent to Middle English clam sticky, cold and damp + -y -y1
Related forms
clammily, adverb
clamminess, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for clamminess
Historical Examples
  • But you are not troubled now with the clamminess of unabsorbed perspiration.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Try them with a fork, which must come out quite clean, and with no clamminess sticking to it.

  • More penetrating than its clamminess was the thought that Madame de Ferrier was out in it alone.


    Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • A clamminess, such as others feel at the approach of death, spread over my brow and neck.

    Simon the Jester William J. Locke
  • Though the root-meaning seems rather that of clamminess or adhesiveness, as found in Sansc.

    The River-Names of Europe Robert Ferguson
British Dictionary definitions for clamminess


adjective -mier, -miest
unpleasantly sticky; moist: clammy hands
(of the weather, atmosphere, etc) close; humid
Derived Forms
clammily, adverb
clamminess, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old English clǣman to smear; related to Old Norse kleima, Old High German kleimen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for clamminess



"soft and sticky," late 14c., probably from Middle English clam "viscous, sticky, muddy" (mid-14c.), from Old English clæm "mud, sticky clay," from Proto-Germanic *klaimaz "clay" (cf. Flemish klammig, Low German klamig "sticky, damp," Old English clæman "to smear, plaster;" cf. clay). With -y (2). Related: Clammily; clamminess.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for clamminess

Word Value for clamminess

Scrabble Words With Friends