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clammy

[klam-ee] /ˈklæm i/
adjective, clammier, clammiest.
1.
covered with a cold, sticky moisture; cold and damp:
clammy hands.
2.
sickly; morbid:
She had a clammy feeling that something was wrong at home.
Origin of clammy
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English, equivalent to Middle English clam sticky, cold and damp + -y -y1
Related forms
clammily, adverb
clamminess, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for clammy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Its very quietness takes on some clammy quality associated with graves.

  • When it was ready he placed it on the clammy oilcloth and sat down.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots Caroline Lockhart
  • His dim eyes were cast tenderly on her despairing countenance, and pressing gently her clammy hand, he breathed his last.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • It was cold and clammy; Dick did not like the feel, and retreated.

    Nine Little Goslings Susan Coolidge
  • I threw out my arms; my fingers rested upon an object slippery and clammy: it was one of these monsters—one of gigantic size.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • In the act his—fingers touched her face, and she felt them cold and clammy.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • He leaned back upon the cases of dynamite and passed a clammy hand over his brow.

    The Coyote James Roberts
British Dictionary definitions for clammy

clammy

/ˈklæmɪ/
adjective -mier, -miest
1.
unpleasantly sticky; moist: clammy hands
2.
(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
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Word Origin and History for clammy
adj.

"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
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