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[kloi] /klɔɪ/
verb (used with object)
to weary by an excess of food, sweetness, pleasure, etc.; surfeit; satiate.
verb (used without object)
to become uninteresting or distasteful through overabundance:
A diet of cake and candy soon cloys.
Origin of cloy
1350-1400; aphetic variant of Middle English acloyen < Middle French enclo(y)er < Late Latin inclāvāre to nail in, equivalent to in- in-2 + -clāvāre, verbal derivative of clāvus nail
Related forms
overcloy, verb (used with object)
uncloyed, adjective
1. glut, sate, bore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cloy
Historical Examples
  • To cloy or surfeit is to gratify to the point of revulsion or disgust.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • But I shall tire you with a theme with which I would not wish to cloy you beforehand.

  • Over-sentimental and apt to cloy, it is eminently poetical and full of melody.

    Masters of French Music Arthur Hervey
  • Yea but, said Carpalin, were it not good to cloy all their ordnance?

  • Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite, By bare imagination of a feast?

  • And he proceeded to read with a sneering imitation of Zoie's cloy sweetness.

    Baby Mine Margaret Mayo
  • But plenteous as are the flowers of eloquence with which he presents us, their perfume, their sweetness, do not cloy.

    The London Pulpit J. Ewing Ritchie
  • Wealth could not cloy, nor grandeur overpower, with such a mate; that was perhaps the substance of her thought.

    My Lord Duke E. W. Hornung
  • No apricot Or greengage tart my heart hath won;Their sweetness doth but cloy and clot.

    The Wallypug in London G. E. Farrow
  • Things agreeable enough in small quantities, pall and cloy if the ration be overmuch augmented.

British Dictionary definitions for cloy


to make weary or cause weariness through an excess of something initially pleasurable or sweet
Word Origin
C14 (originally: to nail, hence, to obstruct): from earlier acloyen, from Old French encloer, from Medieval Latin inclavāre, from Latin clāvāre to nail, from clāvus a nail
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 cloy

"weary by too much, fill to loathing, surfeit," 1520s, from Middle English cloyen "hinder movement, encumber" (late 14c.), a shortening of accloyen (early 14c.), from Old French encloer "to fasten with a nail, grip, grasp," figuratively "to hinder, check, stop, curb," from Late Latin inclavare "drive a nail into a horse's foot when shoeing," from Latin clavus "a nail" (see slot (n.2)).

Accloye is a hurt that cometh of shooing, when a Smith driveth a nail in the quick, which make him to halt. [Edward Topsell, "The History of Four-footed Beasts," 1607]
The figurative meaning "fill to a satiety, overfill" is attested for accloy from late 14c. Related: Cloyed; cloying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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