verb (used with object)
Origin of clay1
Word Origin 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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with clay
- clay pigeon
- feet of clay