from The Century Dictionary.

  • To gutter, as a candle.
  • noun Clay.
  • noun Earthenware. Halliwell; Wright.
  • Of earthenware.

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

  • noun obsolete Clay.
  • noun Earthenware.
  • adjective Of earthenware.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To make cloam.
  • verb intransitive To gutter (as a candle).


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *clom, from Old English clām ("paste, mortar, mud, clay, poultice"), from Proto-Germanic *klaimaz (“clay”), from Proto-Indo-European *gleim- (“to stick, smear”). Related to cleam, claim, clem.


  • "'Tis a gurt shame, that's what 'tis," said Primrose, resentful both for her friend's riband and her own edging; "and I'd get my Willie to make her buy new, only 'tis no good asking paupers for money, because, even if they was to be sold up, all their sticks and cloam wouldn't fetch enough for a yard o 'this riband."

    The White Riband A Young Female's Folly

  • "I'll help wi 'the cloam," said a big, heavily-made boy who was seated at one end of the table, eating a pasty.

    Secret Bread

  • My poor back is blue all over with the cloam my missus takes to bed.

    The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales

  • "That's right!" cried Annie, with sudden vigour; "go off and make yourself fine, and lave me to wash all the cloam that's been standen 'up in grease these three days.

    Secret Bread


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "2. To gutter, as a candle." --Cent. Dict.

    August 5, 2011