- causing or tending to cause disgust or aversion through excess: a perfume of cloying sweetness.
- overly ingratiating or sentimental.
Origin of cloying
- to weary by an excess of food, sweetness, pleasure, etc.; surfeit; satiate.
- to become uninteresting or distasteful through overabundance: A diet of cake and candy soon cloys.
Origin of cloy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cloying
And sure, this product—made from French vodka—is cloying in its sweetness.The Appeal of Cinnabon Vodka and the Rise of Flavored Vodkas
November 22, 2013
After all, The Selfish Giant is one of the most cloying works in literature.Charles Dickens' Enduring Insights on Human Loss and Suffering
February 18, 2013
Cranberry sauce should be sweet but not cloying, and tart without causing pucker and anguish.Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving Recipes
November 20, 2012
This is not to suggest Ann is cloying or offputtingly perfect.Michelle Obama’s Democratic Convention Speech: What She Needs to Do
September 4, 2012
Perfect couples who claim to be open are just as cloying as other perfect types.Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Open Relationships, and Divorce
November 19, 2011
Still the breeze delayed, and the fragrant odors of the woods were cloying.'Smiles'
Eliot H. Robinson
So feeble and cloying is the venereal indulgence, if Love inspires it not.Plutarch's Morals
The deliberate pathos, the cloying charm, did not seem to exist for Louise.Regiment of Women
But there need be no fear of massed color in a field, as being ever gaudy or cloying.Old-Time Gardens
Alice Morse Earle
It was of a full and penetrating sweetness, too keen and delicate to be cloying.Life Without and Life Within
- initially pleasurable or sweet but wearying in excess
- to make weary or cause weariness through an excess of something initially pleasurable or sweet
Word Origin and History for cloying
1640s, present participle adjective from cloy (v.). Related: Cloyingly; cloyingness.
"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.