Definitions

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

  • noun A fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet and hardens when heated, consisting primarily of hydrated silicates of aluminum and widely used in making bricks, tiles, and pottery.
  • noun A hardening or nonhardening material having a consistency similar to clay and used for modeling.
  • noun Geology A sedimentary material with grains smaller than 0.002 millimeter in diameter.
  • noun Moist sticky earth; mud.
  • noun The human body as opposed to the spirit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The material resulting from the decomposition and consequent hydration of the feldspathic rocks, especially granite and gneiss, and of the crystalline rocks in general.
  • noun Earth in general, especially in the Scriptures, as the material from which, according to the account in Genesis, the body of the first man was formed.
  • noun . Moist earth; mud; slime.
  • noun . Any viscous plastic mixture used as mortar or cement.
  • noun The human body; especially, a dead body.
  • noun Figuratively, anything which is easily molded, shaped, or influenced.
  • Formed or consisting of clay; characterized by the presence of clay; clayey: as, a clay soil; a clay hovel.
  • To cover or manure with clay.
  • To purify and whiten with clay, as sugar.
  • To puddle with clay.

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

  • noun A soft earth, which is plastic, or may be molded with the hands, consisting of hydrous silicate of aluminium. It is the result of the wearing down and decomposition, in part, of rocks containing aluminous minerals, as granite. Lime, magnesia, oxide of iron, and other ingredients, are often present as impurities.
  • noun (Poetry & Script.) Earth in general, as representing the elementary particles of the human body; hence, the human body as formed from such particles.
  • noun See under Bowlder.
  • noun the common clay, containing some iron, and therefore turning red when burned.
  • noun cold as clay or earth; lifeless; inanimate.
  • noun an ore of iron consisting of the oxide or carbonate of iron mixed with clay or sand.
  • noun a whitish, smooth, chalky clay.
  • noun a mill for mixing and tempering clay; a pug mill.
  • noun a pit where clay is dug.
  • noun (Min.) argillaceous schist; argillite.
  • noun clays having a greasy feel; they are chemical compounds of water, silica, and aluminia, as halloysite, bole, etc.
  • noun a variety of clay, entirely free from lime, iron, or an alkali, and therefore infusible, and used for fire brick.
  • noun a very pure variety, formed directly from the decomposition of feldspar, and often called kaolin.
  • noun a tolerably pure kind, free from iron.
  • transitive verb To cover or manure with clay.
  • transitive verb To clarify by filtering through clay, as sugar.

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

  • noun A mineral substance made up of small crystals of silica and alumina, that is ductile when moist; the material of pre-fired ceramics.
  • noun An earth material with ductile qualities.
  • noun tennis A tennis court surface.
  • noun biblical The material of the human body.
  • noun geology A particle less than 3.9 microns in diameter, following the Wentworth scale
  • verb transitive To add clay to, to spread clay onto.
  • verb transitive To purify using clay.

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

  • noun water soaked soil; soft wet earth
  • noun a very fine-grained soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired
  • noun the dead body of a human being
  • noun United States politician responsible for the Missouri Compromise between free and slave states (1777-1852)
  • noun United States general who commanded United States forces in Europe from 1945 to 1949 and who oversaw the Berlin airlift (1897-1978)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English clei, from Old English clæg.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English clay, cley, from Old English clǣġ ("clay"), from Proto-Germanic *klajjaz (“clay”), from Proto-Indo-European *glei- (“to glue, paste, stick together”). Cognate with Dutch klei ("clay"), Low German klei ("clay"), German Klei, Danish klæg ("clay"); compare Ancient Greek γλία (glía), Latin glūs ("glue"). Related also to clag, clog.

Examples

Comments

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  • Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as having a particle size of less than 3.90625 micrometres(0.00015 inches) but more than 1 micrometre.

    February 26, 2007

  • Two different colors (for reesetee's list).

    June 20, 2008

  • Why, thank you, Pro. :-)

    Weirdnet, second-to-last definition: What??

    June 20, 2008

  • Ashes to ashes, clay to clay (it's wet here, you dig?).

    June 20, 2008

  • Lo, I have wrought in common clay

    Rude figures of a rough-hewn race,

    Since pearls strew not the market-place

    In this my town of banishment,

    Where with the shifting dust I play,

    And eat the bread of discontent.

    - Rudyard Kipling, 'A Dedication.'

    October 27, 2008

  • "9. To purify and whiten with clay, as sugar."

    --Century Dictionary

    March 11, 2011