[ klam-ee ]
See synonyms for: clammyclamminess on

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.

Origin of clammy

1350–1400; Middle English, equivalent to Middle English clam sticky, cold and damp + -y-y1

Other words from clammy

  • clam·mi·ly, adverb
  • clam·mi·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use clammy in a sentence

  • This combination made my skin feel clammy, particularly on my lower back and around my shoulders, where my pack rested.

  • 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.

    The River-Names of Europe | Robert Ferguson
  • They felt it in the cold clamminess of the atmosphere, in the quiet peace of the long corridors.

  • Unless the sea is broken by the wind, there is about it just before dawn a peculiar creeping clamminess.

    A Poor Man's House | Stephen Sydney Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for clammy


/ (ˈklæmɪ) /

adjective-mier or -miest
  1. unpleasantly sticky; moist: clammy hands

  2. (of the weather, atmosphere, etc) close; humid

Origin of clammy

C14: from Old English clǣman to smear; related to Old Norse kleima, Old High German kleimen

Derived forms of clammy

  • clammily, adverb
  • clamminess, noun

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