- a natural earthy material that is plastic when wet, consisting essentially of hydrated silicates of aluminum: used for making bricks, pottery, etc.
- earth; mud.
- earth, especially regarded as the material from which the human body was formed.
- the human body, especially as distinguished from the spirit or soul; the flesh.
- human character as estimated according to fineness of constitution, endowments, etc.: The saints and heroes seem of a different clay from most of us.
- to treat or mix with clay; cover, daub, or fill with clay.
- to filter through clay.
Origin of clay1
- a lusterless serge having a rough texture.
Origin of clay2
- Bertha M.Charlotte Monica Braeme, 1836–84, English author: originator of a long series of romantic novels.
- Cassius Marcellus,1810–1903, U.S. antislavery leader and diplomat.
- Cassius Marcellus, Jr., original name of Muhammad Ali.
- Henry,1777–1852, U.S. statesman and orator.
- Lucius (Du·Bi·gnon) [doo-bin-yon] /ˌdu bɪnˈyɒn/, 1897–1978, U.S. general.
- a male given name.
Examples from the Web for clay
But, together, Webster, Clay, and Calhoun delayed the Civil War for 40 years.
Clay engineered the morally indefensible Missouri Compromise.
It just changed into something quite dark and unattractive with Clay, and was a unique moment in my artistic career.Ron Perlman's Secret Suicide Attempt
October 28, 2014
Horace was athletic and clever, known, probably apocryphally, as the fastest cotton picker in Clay County.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
There was that Twitter rant by Dan Haseltine, lead singer of Jars of Clay, supporting gay marriage.Is the Christian Music Industry Softening on Gays?
Matthew Paul Turner
October 19, 2014
This we also burnt with fire, after we had protected the fresh flint by plastering it with clay.The Trail Book
Come, bring thy load, cast it on Him Who fashioned thee from clay.Rico and Wiseli
The fire was burning on a clay floor a few feet from where I was lying.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
We stuffed the pink dainties with mint, and baked them in balls of clay.In the Valley
They passed an outdoor oven like a little round hill of stones and clay.Buried Cities, Part 2
- a very fine-grained material that consists of hydrated aluminium silicate, quartz, and organic fragments and occurs as sedimentary rocks, soils, and other deposits. It becomes plastic when moist but hardens on heating and is used in the manufacture of bricks, cement, ceramics, etcRelated adjective: figuline
- earth or mud in general
- poetic the material of the human body
- (tr) to cover or mix with clay
- CassiusSee Muhammad Ali
- Henry. 1777–1852, US statesman and orator; secretary of state (1825–29)
Word Origin and History for clay
Old English clæg "stiff, sticky earth; clay," from West Germanic *klaijaz (cf. Old High German kliwa "bran," German Kleie, Old Frisian klai "clay," Old Saxon klei, Middle Dutch clei, Danish klæg "clay;" also Old English clæman, Old Norse kleima, Old High German kleiman "to cover with clay"), from PIE root *glei- "clay" (cf. Greek gloios "sticky matter;" Latin gluten "glue;" Old Church Slavonic glina "clay," glenu "slime, mucus;" Old Irish glenim "I cleave, adhere").
in Scripture, the stuff from which the body of the first man was formed; hence "human body" (especially when dead). Clay pigeon is from 1888. Feet of clay "fundamental weakness" is from Dan. ii:33.
- A stiff, sticky sedimentary material that is soft and pliable when wet and consists mainly of various silicates of aluminum. Clay particles are smaller than silt, having a diameter less than 0.0039 mm. Clay is widely used to make bricks, pottery, and tiles.
Idioms and Phrases with clay
In addition to the idiom beginning with clay
- clay pigeon
- feet of clay