Definition of clog in English:

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Pronunciation: /kläɡ/
Pronunciation: /klôɡ/


Image of clog
1A shoe with a thick wooden sole.
Example sentences
  • Traditional footwear is sandals or wooden clogs with a thong that passes between the big toe and the second toe.
  • The chef and sous-chef wear Dansko clogs, which are rather handsome black leather clogs with thick soles.
  • His tiny souvenirs are scaled-down versions of traditional wooden clogs and feature hand-made soles, leather straps, tiny brass nails and metal toe plates.
sabot, wooden shoe
2An encumbrance or impediment: a clog in the system
More example sentences
  • For any of the major types of clogs in the main system a heavy duty sewer snake should be used.
  • The familiar story of system clog may yet end up defeating the best efforts at joint parliamentary action on crime.
  • A clog is rarely in the trap and the chemical only helps open the drain a little bit.

verb (clogs, clogging, clogged)

1Block or become blocked with an accumulation of thick, wet matter: [with object]: the gutters were clogged up with leaves (as adjective clogged) clogged drains [no object]: too much fatty food makes your arteries clog up
More example sentences
  • The surface was like a thick clay which clogged up the tyre treads, turning them into slicks.
  • Within a few days, the heaviest rain for 30 years had turned the soil into a quagmire, producing thick mud that clogged up rifles and immobilised tanks.
  • The particulate matter in the rain water that ran off the roof clogged up my water filter, but otherwise this scare caused no damage.
block, obstruct, congest, jam, choke, bung up, plug, stop up, fill up, gunge up
1.1 [with object] Fill up or crowd (something) so as to obstruct passage: tourists clog the roads in summer
More example sentences
  • The next day, to get away from all the tourist buses clogging the narrow streets, I took refuge in a pretty little park I found.
  • We had so much equipment over there, at one point, it just clogged the roads and filled up a nearby church parking lot.
  • Of immediate concern to us is the fact that our people fill the jails and clog the justice system.


Middle English (in the sense 'block of wood to impede an animal's movement'): of unknown origin.

  • The earliest meaning of clog was ‘a block of wood’, especially one fastened to the leg or neck of an animal to stop it moving too far. The term for a wooden-soled shoe is nearly as early and probably first referred to the thick wooden sole alone. The verb was first used to mean ‘to hamper something’, and from this developed the idea of hindering free passage through something by blocking it. Clogs were formerly worn by factory and manual workers in the north of England. From clogs to clogs in three generations is said to be a Lancashire proverb, meaning that it takes one generation to found a business, the next to build it, and the third to spend the profits, leaving the family penniless again.

Words that rhyme with clog

agog, befog, blog, bog, cog, dog, flog, fog, grog, hog, Hogg, hotdog, jog, log, nog, prog, slog, smog, snog, sprog, tautog, tog, trog

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clog

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