clay

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Clay

English[edit]

Wikipedia has articles on:

Wikipedia

Clay in Estonia

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English clay, cley, from Old English clǣġ (clay), from Proto-Germanic *klajjaz (clay), from Proto-Indo-European *gley- (to glue, paste, stick together).[1] Cognate with Dutch klei (clay), Low German klei (clay), German Klei, Danish klæg (clay); compare Ancient Greek γλία (glía), Latin glūs (glue), Ukrainian ґлей (glej, clay). Related also to clag, clog.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

clay (usually uncountable, plural clays)

  1. A mineral substance made up of small crystals of silica and alumina, that is ductile when moist; the material of pre-fired ceramics.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter 1, Nobody:
      Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with (by way of local colour) on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust […].
  2. An earth material with ductile qualities.
  3. (tennis) A tennis court surface.
    The French Open is played on clay.
  4. (biblical) The material of the human body.
    • 1611, Old Testament, King James Version, Job 10:8-9:
      Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about...thou hast made me as the clay.
    • 1611, Old Testament, King James Version, Isaiah 64:8:
      But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art our potter; and we are the work of thy hand.
  5. (geology) A particle less than 3.9 microns in diameter, following the Wentworth scale.
  6. (firearms, informal) A clay pigeon.

Antonyms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

clay (third-person singular simple present clays, present participle claying, simple past and past participle clayed)

  1. (transitive) To add clay to, to spread clay onto.
  2. (transitive, of sugar) To purify using clay.
    • 1776, Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Book IV, Chapter 7: Of Colonies, Part 2: Causes of Prosperity of New Colonies,
      They amounted, therefore, to a prohibition, at first of claying or refining sugar for any foreign market, and at present of claying or refining it for the market, which takes off, perhaps, more than nine-tenths of the whole produce.
    • 1809, Jonathan Williams, On the Process of Claying Sugar, in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Volume 6.
    • 1985, Stuart B. Schwartz, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550-1835, page 200,
      The Portuguese had mastered the technique of claying sugar, and other European nations tried to learn the secrets from them.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Krueger 1982; Merriam-Webster 1974.
  • Krueger, Dennis (December 1982). "Why On Earth Do They Call It Throwing?" Studio Potter Vol. 11, Number 1.[1] (etymology)
  • “clay” in the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, 1974 edition.
  • Clay, New Webster Dictionary of English Language, 1980 edition.

Anagrams[edit]