Definition of clay in English:

clay

Syllabification: clay
Pronunciation: /klā
 
/

noun

  • 1A stiff, sticky fine-grained earth, typically yellow, red, or bluish-gray in color and often forming an impermeable layer in the soil. It can be molded when wet, and is dried and baked to make bricks, pottery, and ceramics.
    More example sentences
    • One slope of the mound had clay loam soil and another had sandy loam.
    • Actually red clay was used to build it.
    • Not only is it waterproof, but it will also dry like baked polymer clays.
    Synonyms
    china clay, kaolin, adobe, ball clay, argil, pug; fireclay
  • 1.1 technical Sediment with particles smaller than silt, typically less than 0.00016 inch (0.004 mm).
  • 1.2A hardened clay surface for a tennis court.
    More example sentences
    • The Argentine admits he prefers clay court tennis and it is rare to find such a player who is just as comfortable on grass.
    • The original sauna and jacuzzi in a turret have remained, alongside a swimming pool and clay tennis court.
    • A few pedal-boats and a clay tennis court complete the amenities.
  • 1.3 literary The substance of the human body: this lifeless clay
    More example sentences
    • It was the rest of him that was made of fallible human clay.
    • Some artists, notably Rembrandt, used the genre as a vehicle for ironic commentary on the discrepancies between the ideals of classical art and the faulty human clay of which we are made.
    • Of course, he does this not through imagery alone but through turning the paint itself into a kind of turbulent human clay.

Phrases

feet of clay

see foot.

Derivatives

clayey

Pronunciation: /ˈklā-ē/
adjective
More example sentences
  • The top 30 m of the subsurface soil strata in Calcutta consists mainly of successive layers of clay, silty clay and clayey silt, and can be subdivided into two horizons based on the relative compressibility of the different strata.
  • To maintain a minimum depth of 30 cm with a seepage loss of 3 percent, the streambed will require a 0.5 layer of silty clay or clayey gravel.
  • Commonly used isolation barriers are composed of compacted natural inorganic clays or clayey soils.

clayish

adjective
More example sentences
  • The earliest Cambrian clayish sediment surface was relatively firm and its penetration required much energy.
  • A day and a half of digging and riddling had produced several piles of authentic clayish undersoil.
  • This is a fine-grained quartz sandstone with clayish matrix.

claylike

adjective
More example sentences
  • Yesterday's event was deemed too risky and dangerous as rain made the soil turn clay-like.
  • The entire backyard and paved courtyard was white with a couple of kilos of these clay-like pellets.
  • Underneath the muskeg is a layer of sand, rock and overburden, a clay-like material.

Origin

Old English clǣg; related to Dutch klei, also to cleave2 and climb.

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