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Clay, n. Etym: [AS. clæg; akin to LG. klei, D. klei, and perh. to AS. clam clay, L. glus, gluten glue, Gr. glue. Cf. Clog.]
1. A soft earth, which is plastuc, or may be molded with the hands, consisting of hydrous silicate of alumunium. It is the result of the wearing down and decomposition, in part, of rocks containing aluminous minerals, as granite. Lime, magnesia, oxide of iron, and other ingredients, are often present as impurities.
2. (Poetry & Script.)
Defn: Earth in general, as representing the elementary particles of the human body; hence, the human body as formed from such particles. I also am formed out of the clay. Job xxxiii. 6. The earth is covered thick with other clay, Which her own clay shall cover. Byron. Bowlder clay. See under Bowlder.
-- Brick clay, the common clay, containing some iron, and therefore
turning red when burned.
-- Clay cold, cold as clay or earth; lifeless; inanimate. -- Clay ironstone, an ore of iron consisting of the oxide or
carbonate of iron mixed with clay or sand.
-- Clay marl, a whitish, smooth, chalky clay. -- Clay mill, a mill for mixing and tempering clay; a pug mill. -- Clay pit, a pit where clay is dug. -- Clay slate (Min.), argillaceous schist; argillite. -- Fatty clays, clays having a greasy feel; they are chemical
compounds of water, silica, and aluminia, as halloysite, bole, etc.
-- Fire clay , a variety of clay, entirely free from lime, iron, or
an alkali, and therefore infusible, and used for fire brick.
-- Porcelain clay, a very pure variety, formed directly from the
decomposition of feldspar, and often called kaolin.
-- Potter's clay, a tolerably pure kind, free from iron.
clay Clay, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Clayed; p. pr. & vb. n. Claying.]
1. To cover or manure with clay.
2. To clarify by filtering through clay, as sugar.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Clay - This word is used of sediment found in pits or in streets (Isaiah 57:20; Jeremiah 38:6), of dust mixed with spittle (John 9:6), and of potter's clay (Isaiah 41:25; Nahum 3:14; Jeremiah 18:1; Romans 9:21). Clay was used for sealing (Job 38:14; Jeremiah 32:14). Our Lord's tomb may have been thus sealed (Matthew 27:66). The practice of sealing doors with clay is still common in the East. Clay was also in primitive times used for mortar (Genesis 11:3). The "clay ground" in which the large vessels of the temple were cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chronicles 4:17) was a compact loam fitted for the purpose. The expression literally rendered is, "in the thickness of the ground,", meaning, "in stiff ground" or in clay.