[ kley ]
/ kleɪ /


verb (used with object)

to treat or mix with clay; cover, daub, or fill with clay.
to filter through clay.

Nearby words

  1. claw-and-ball foot,
  2. clawed,
  3. clawhand,
  4. clawson,
  5. claxon,
  6. clay court,
  7. clay eater,
  8. clay flour,
  9. clay mineral,
  10. clay pigeon

Origin of clay

before 1000; Middle English; Old English clǣg, cognate with Dutch, German Klei, akin to glue

Related formsclay·like, adjectiveun·clayed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for claying

British Dictionary definitions for claying


/ (kleɪ) /


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
Derived Formsclayey, clayish or claylike, adjective

Word Origin for clay

Old English clǣg; related to Old High German klīa, Norwegian kli, Latin glūs glue, Greek gloios sticky oil


/ (kleɪ) /


CassiusSee Muhammad Ali
Henry. 1777–1852, US statesman and orator; secretary of state (1825–29)
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 claying



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for claying


[ klā ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with claying


In addition to the idiom beginning with clay

  • clay pigeon

also see:

  • feet of clay
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.