from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An obstruction or hindrance.
  • n. A weight, such as a block, attached to the leg of an animal to hinder movement.
  • n. A heavy, usually wooden-soled shoe.
  • transitive v. To obstruct movement on or in; block up: Heavy traffic clogged the freeways.
  • transitive v. To hamper the function or activity of; impede: "attorneys clogging our courts with actions designed to harass state and local governments” ( Roslyn L. Anderson and Patricia L. Irvin).
  • intransitive v. To become obstructed or choked up: The pipes had clogged with rust.
  • intransitive v. To thicken or stick together; clot.
  • intransitive v. To do a clog dance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of shoe with an inflexible, often wooden sole sometimes with an open heel.
  • n. A blockage.
  • n. A shoe of any type.
  • v. To block or slow passage through (often with 'up').

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which hinders or impedes motion; hence, an encumbrance, restraint, or impediment, of any kind.
  • n. A weight, as a log or block of wood, attached to a man or an animal to hinder motion.
  • n. A shoe, or sandal, intended to protect the feet from wet, or to increase the apparent stature, and having, therefore, a very thick sole. Cf. Chopine.
  • intransitive v. To become clogged; to become loaded or encumbered, as with extraneous matter.
  • intransitive v. To coalesce or adhere; to unite in a mass.
  • transitive v. To encumber or load, especially with something that impedes motion; to hamper.
  • transitive v. To obstruct so as to hinder motion in or through; to choke up.
  • transitive v. To burden; to trammel; to embarrass; to perplex.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To impede the movements of; encumber; hamper; hobble, as by a chain, a rope, a block of wood, or the like: as, to clog a bullock to prevent it from leaping fences; to clog a wheel.
  • To restrain; confine.
  • To choke up; obstruct so as to hinder passage through: as, to clog a tube; to clog a vein.
  • Figuratively, to throw obstacles in the way of; encumber; hinder; burden; trammel; hamper: as, to clog commerce with restrictions.
  • Synonyms To shackle, fetter, restrain, cumber, embarrass, restrict.
  • To become loaded, encumbered, or choked up with extraneous matter.
  • To coalesce; unite and adhere in a cluster or mass; stick together.
  • n. A block or mass of anything constituting an encumbrance.
  • n. Specifically— A block of wood or other material fastened to an animal, as by a rope or chain to its leg, to impede its movements.
  • n. A block of wood fastened to or placed under the wheel of a vehicle to serve as a brake in descending a hill.
  • n. Hence Any encumbrance; anything that hinders motion or action, physical or moral, or renders it difficult; a hindrance or impediment.
  • n. Same as clog-almanac.
  • n. A cone of the pine or other coniferous tree.
  • n. A kind of shoe with a very thick sole and high heels, worn either alone or as an overshoe.
  • n. Hence A similar shoe used in the modern clog-dance.
  • n. A clog-dance.
  • n. In coal-mining, a short piece of timber placed between a prop and the roof which it helps to support.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any object that acts as a hindrance or obstruction
  • v. impede with a clog or as if with a clog
  • n. footwear usually with wooden soles
  • v. coalesce or unite in a mass
  • n. a dance performed while wearing shoes with wooden soles; has heavy stamping steps
  • v. fill to excess so that function is impaired
  • v. dance a clog dance
  • v. impede the motion of, as with a chain or a burden
  • v. become or cause to become obstructed


Middle English, block attached to an animal's leg.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English clog ("weight attached to the leg of an animal to impede movement") (Wiktionary)


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  • The word clog is found in The American College Dictionary definition for jackanapes: "1. a pert, presuming man; whippersnapper. 2. Archaic. an ape or monkey. (var. of ME Jack Napes, nickname of William, Duke of Suffolk, whose badge was an ape's clog and chain; prob. orig. used as name for tame ape or monkey)."

    August 26, 2010

  • Mysterious, doughy, unknown blob clogs sewer: 'Jones said crews opened a manhole at the Bates Street intersection and saw the clog - an oozing, white blob that looks like uncooked dough.'

    January 25, 2008