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From Middle English clod, clodde, cludde, from Old English clod, clodd (attested in compounds and placenames), from Proto-Germanic *klut-, *klūtaz (mass, ball, clump), related to clot and cloud. Cognate to Dutch klodde (rag) and kloot (clod).



clod (plural clods)

  1. A lump of something, especially of earth or clay.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 10”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      clods of iron and brass
    • 1600, Edward Fairfax (translator), originally published in 1581 by Torquato Tasso, s:Jerusalem Delivered
      clods of blood
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      The earth that casteth up from the plough a great clod, is not so good as that which casteth up a smaller clod.
    • 1903, Warwick Deeping, Uther and Igraine
      As for yon clod of clay, we will bury it later, lest it should pollute so goodly a pool.
    • 1906, Mark Twain, Eve's Diary
      One of the clods took it back of the ear, and it used language. It gave me a thrill, for it was the first time I had ever heard speech, except my own.
    • 2010, Clare Vanderpool, Moon Over Manifest
      "What a bunch of hooey," I said under my breath, tossing a dirt clod over my shoulder against the locked-up garden shed.
  2. The ground; the earth; a spot of earth or turf.
  3. A stupid person; a dolt.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of John Dryden to this entry?)
    • 1906, Robert Barr, The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont
      'What was its number?'
      'I don't know, sir.'
      'You clod! Why didn't you call one of our men, whoever was nearest, and leave him to shadow the American while you followed the cab?'
    • 1986 February 14, Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
      So here's a valentine for you, you insensitive clod!!
    • 1998, Chickenpox (episode of South Park TV series)
      Gerald Broflovski: You see Kyle, we humans work as a society, and in order for a society to thrive, we need gods and clods.
    • 2015, "Jail Break" (episode of Steven Universe TV series)
      Peridot: Don't touch that! You clods don't know what you're doing!
  4. Part of a shoulder of beef, or of the neck piece near the shoulder.



clod (third-person singular simple present clods, present participle clodding, simple past and past participle clodded)

  1. (transitive) To pelt with clods.
    • 1906, Mark Twain,Eve's Diary"
      "When I went there yesterday evening in the gloaming it had crept down and was trying to catch the little speckled fishes that play in the pool, and I had to clod it to make it go up the tree again and let them alone."
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonson to this entry?)
  2. (transitive, Scotland) To throw violently; to hurl.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
  3. To collect into clods, or into a thick mass; to coagulate; to clot.
    • G. Fletcher
      Clodded in lumps of clay.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for clod in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)




From Proto-Celtic *klutom (rumour; fame), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlew- (heard, famous) (whence also clywed (to hear)).



clod m (plural clodydd)

  1. praise, renown, credit
  2. distinction (in exam results)

Derived terms[edit]


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
clod glod nghlod chlod
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950-), “clod”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies