[ klam-ee ]
/ ˈklæm i /

adjective, clam·mi·er, clam·mi·est.

covered with a cold, sticky moisture; cold and damp: clammy hands.
sickly; morbid: She had a clammy feeling that something was wrong at home.

Nearby words

  1. clamatorial,
  2. clambake,
  3. clamber,
  4. clambering,
  5. clamjamphry,
  6. clamor,
  7. clamorous,
  8. clamorously,
  9. clamour,
  10. clamp

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clammy

British Dictionary definitions for clammy


/ (ˈklæmɪ) /

adjective -mier or -miest

unpleasantly sticky; moistclammy hands
(of the weather, atmosphere, etc) close; humid
Derived Formsclammily, adverbclamminess, noun

Word Origin for clammy

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 clammy



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper