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clammy

[klam-ee]
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adjective, clam·mi·er, clam·mi·est.
  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.
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Origin of clammy

1350–1400; Middle English, equivalent to Middle English clam sticky, cold and damp + -y -y1
Related formsclam·mi·ly, adverbclam·mi·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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.

    Lazarre

    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.


British Dictionary definitions for clamminess

clammy

adjective -mier or -miest
  1. unpleasantly sticky; moistclammy hands
  2. (of the weather, atmosphere, etc) close; humid
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Derived Formsclammily, adverbclamminess, 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

Word Origin and History for clamminess

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper