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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 cloys
Historical Examples
  • We then say that the classic does not satisfy us, and that the "Grecian cloys us with his perfectness."

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • This fruit is most refreshing—but it's curious how it cloys on you!

  • A too constant man is like an overstrong sweet: he cloys us.

  • It was an exquisite vigor of sweetness, not in the least the kind that cloys.


    Leona Dalrymple
  • And Brian had found in Joan's face the vigor of sweetness, not the kind that cloys.


    Leona Dalrymple
  • She was not like a song—even your sweetest song—which, heard too often, cloys, its phrases dropping to senseless notes.

  • A perfect day in April far excels a perfect day in June, because it provokes and stimulates while the latter sates and cloys.

    Riverby John Burroughs
British Dictionary definitions for cloys


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 cloys



"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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