• enPR: klā, IPA: /kleɪ/, [kl̥eɪ]

clay (uncountable)

  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 I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      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 made of crushed stone, brick, shale, or other unbound mineral aggregate.
    The French Open is played on clay.
  4. (biblical) The material of the human body.
    • 1611, Old Testament, King James Version, Book of 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, Book of 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. A clay pipe for smoking tobacco.
  7. (firearms, informal) A clay pigeon.
    We went shooting clays at the weekend.
  8. (informal) Land or territory of a country or other political region, especially when subject to territorial claims
    Danzig is rightfully German clay.
Antonyms Translations Translations Verb

clay (clays, present participle claying; 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.

Pronunciation Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. A male given name.
    • 1968 Patrick White, Clay, in The Burnt Ones, Penguin Books, page 114:
      When he was about five years old some kids asked Clay why his mother had called him that. And he did not know. But began to wonder.
  3. A male given name.
  4. A town/county seat in Clay County, West Virginia.
  5. Ellipsis of Clay County#English|Clay County
  6. CDP in Sacramento County, California.

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.005
Offline English dictionary