from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An obstruction or hindrance.
  • noun A weight, such as a block, attached to the leg of an animal to hinder movement.
  • noun A heavy, traditionally wooden-soled shoe.
  • intransitive verb To obstruct movement on or in; block up.
  • intransitive verb To hamper the function or activity of; impede.
  • intransitive verb To become obstructed or choked up.
  • intransitive verb To thicken or stick together; clot.
  • intransitive verb To do a clog dance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A block or mass of anything constituting an encumbrance.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A block of wood fastened to or placed under the wheel of a vehicle to serve as a brake in descending a hill.
  • noun Hence Any encumbrance; anything that hinders motion or action, physical or moral, or renders it difficult; a hindrance or impediment.
  • noun Same as clog-almanac.
  • noun A cone of the pine or other coniferous tree.
  • noun A kind of shoe with a very thick sole and high heels, worn either alone or as an overshoe.
  • noun Hence A similar shoe used in the modern clog-dance.
  • noun A clog-dance.
  • noun In coal-mining, a short piece of timber placed between a prop and the roof which it helps to support.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To become clogged; to become loaded or encumbered, as with extraneous matter.
  • intransitive verb To coalesce or adhere; to unite in a mass.
  • transitive verb To encumber or load, especially with something that impedes motion; to hamper.
  • transitive verb To obstruct so as to hinder motion in or through; to choke up.
  • transitive verb To burden; to trammel; to embarrass; to perplex.
  • noun That which hinders or impedes motion; hence, an encumbrance, restraint, or impediment, of any kind.
  • noun A weight, as a log or block of wood, attached to a man or an animal to hinder motion.
  • noun 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.
  • noun a primitive kind of almanac or calendar, formerly used in England, made by cutting notches and figures on the four edges of a clog, or square piece of wood, brass, or bone; -- called also a Runic staff, from the Runic characters used in the numerical notation.
  • noun a dance performed by a person wearing clogs, or thick-soled shoes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Middle English, block attached to an animal's leg.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English clog ("weight attached to the leg of an animal to impede movement")


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  • 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

  • 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

  • From

    "clog (n.)

    early 14c., clogge "a lump of wood," origin unknown. Also used in Middle English of large pieces of jewelry and large testicles. Compare Norwegian klugu "knotty log of wood." Meaning "anything that impedes action" is from 1520s, via the notion of "block or mass constituting an encumbrance."

    The sense of "wooden-soled shoe" is first recorded late 14c.; they were used as overshoes until the introduction of rubbers c. 1840. Originally all of wood (hence the name), later wooden soles with leather uppers for the front of the foot only. Later revived in fashion (c. 1970), primarily for women. Clog-dancing "dancing performed in clogs" is attested from 1863."

    July 8, 2021