closure (n.) Look up closure at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a barrier, a fence," from Old French closure "enclosure; that which encloses, fastening, hedge, wall, fence," also closture "barrier, division; enclosure, hedge, fence, wall" (12c., Modern French clôture), from Late Latin clausura "lock, fortress, a closing" (source of Italian chiusura), from past participle stem of Latin claudere "to close" (see close (v.)). Sense of "act of closing, bringing to a close" is from early 15c. In legislation, especially "closing or stopping of debate." Sense of "tendency to create ordered and satisfying wholes" is 1924, from Gestalt psychology.
clot (n.) Look up clot at Dictionary.com
Old English clott "a round mass, lump," akin to Dutch kloot "ball," Danish klods "a block, lump," German Klotz "lump, block;" probably related to cleat and clod.
clot (v.) Look up clot at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from clot (n.). Of fluids from 1590s. Related: Clotted; clotting.
cloth (n.) Look up cloth at Dictionary.com
Old English claþ "a cloth, sail, cloth covering, woven or felted material to wrap around one," hence, also, "garment," from Proto-Germanic *kalithaz (cognates: Old Frisian klath "cloth," Middle Dutch cleet, Dutch kleed "garment, dress," Middle High German kleit, German Kleid "garment"), of obscure origin. As an adjective from 1590s. The cloth "the clerical profession" is from 17c. in reference to characteristic dress.
clothe (v.) Look up clothe at Dictionary.com
Old English claðian, from claþ (see cloth). Related: Clothed, clothing. Other Old English words for this were scrydan and gewædian.
clothes (n.) Look up clothes at Dictionary.com
Old English claðas "cloths, clothes," originally plural of clað "cloth" (see cloth), which, in 19c., after the sense of "article of clothing" had mostly faded from it, acquired a new plural form, cloths, to distinguish it from this word.
clothes-horse (n.) Look up clothes-horse at Dictionary.com
also clothes horse, "upright wooden frame for hanging clothes to dry," 1788, from clothes + horse (n.). Figurative sense of "person whose sole function seems to be to show off clothes" is 1850.
clothes-line (n.) Look up clothes-line at Dictionary.com
also clothesline, 1830, from clothes + line (n.). As a kind of high tackle in U.S. football (the effect is similar to running into a taut clothesline) attested by 1970; as a verb in this sense by 1959.
clothes-pin (n.) Look up clothes-pin at Dictionary.com
also clothespin, by 1834, American English, from clothes + pin (n.). Clothes-peg in the same sense attested from 1812.
clothier (n.) Look up clothier at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., clother; late 15c., clothyer (late 13c. as a surname) Middle English agent noun from cloth; also see -ier, which is unetymological in this word and probably acquired by bad influence.
Clothilde Look up Clothilde at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, via French, from German Klothilde, literally "famous in battle," from Old High German *klod "famous" (related to Old English hlud; see loud (adj.)) + hild "battle" (see Hilda).
clothing (n.) Look up clothing at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "action of dressing in clothes," verbal noun from clothe. From late 13c. as "clothes collectively;" 1590s as an adjective.
Clotho Look up Clotho at Dictionary.com
one of the three Fates, from Latin Clotho, from Greek Klotho, literally "the spinner," from klothein "to spin." The three Fates together sometimes were called Klothes "the spinners."
cloture (n.) Look up cloture at Dictionary.com
1871, the French word for "closure, the action of closing," applied to debates in the French Assembly ("action of closing (debate) by will of a majority"), then to the House of Commons and U.S. Congress, from French clôture, from Old French closture (see closure). It was especially used in English by those opposed to the tactic.
In foreign countries the Clôture has been used notoriously to barricade up a majority against the "pestilent" criticism of a minority, and in this country every "whip" and force is employed by the majority to re-assert its continued supremacy and to keep its ranks intact whenever attacked. How this one-sided struggle to maintain solidarity can be construed into "good for all" is inexplicable in the sense uttered. ["The clôture and the Recent Debate, a Letter to Sir J. Lubbock," London, 1882]
cloud (n.) Look up cloud at Dictionary.com
Old English clud "mass of rock, hill," related to clod. Metaphoric extension to "raincloud, mass of evaporated water in the sky" is attested by c.1200 based on similarity of cumulus clouds and rock masses. The usual Old English word for "cloud" was weolcan. In Middle English, skie also originally meant "cloud."

The four fundamental types of cloud classification (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, nimbus) were proposed by British amateur meteorologist Luke Howard (1772-1864) in 1802. Figuratively, as something that casts a shadow, from early 15c.; hence under a cloud (c.1500). In the clouds "removed from earthly things; obscure, fanciful, unreal" is from 1640s. Cloud-compeller translates (poetically) Greek nephelegereta, a Homeric epithet of Zeus.
cloud (v.) Look up cloud at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "overspread with clouds, cover, darken," from cloud (n.). From 1510s as "to render dim or obscure;" 1590s as "to overspread with gloom." Intransitive sense of "become cloudy" is from 1560s. Related: Clouded; clouding.
Cloud Cuckoo Land Look up Cloud Cuckoo Land at Dictionary.com
Imaginary city built in air, translating Aristophanes' Nephelokokkygia in "The Birds" (414 B.C.E.).
cloud nine (n.) Look up cloud nine at Dictionary.com
by 1950, sometimes also cloud seven (1956, perhaps by confusion with seventh heaven), American English, of uncertain origin or significance. Some connect the phrase with the 1895 International Cloud-Atlas (Hildebrandsson, Riggenbach and Teisserenc de Bort), long the basic source for cloud shapes, in which, of the ten cloud types, cloud No. 9, cumulonimbus, was the biggest, puffiest, most comfortable-looking. Shipley suggests the sense in this and other expressions might be because, "As the largest one-figure integer, nine is sometimes used for emphasis." The phrase might appear in the 1935 aviation-based play "Ceiling Zero" by Frank Wilbur Wead.
cloudburst (n.) Look up cloudburst at Dictionary.com
also cloud-burst, 1817, American English, from cloud (n.) + burst (n.). Parallels German Wolkenbruch.
cloudless (adj.) Look up cloudless at Dictionary.com
1590s, from cloud (n.) + -less.
cloudlet (n.) Look up cloudlet at Dictionary.com
1788, from cloud (n.) + diminutive suffix -let.
cloudy (adj.) Look up cloudy at Dictionary.com
Old English cludig "rocky, hilly, full of cliffs;" see cloud (n.). Meaning "of the nature of clouds" is recorded from c.1300; meaning "full of clouds" is late 14c.; that of "not clear" is from 1580s. Figurative sense of "gloomy" is late 14c. Related: Cloudiness; cloudily.
clough (n.) Look up clough at Dictionary.com
"ravine with a river," Old English cloh (in place names), of uncertain origin.
clout (n.) Look up clout at Dictionary.com
Old English clut "lump of something," also "patch of cloth put over a hole to mend it," from Proto-Germanic *klutaz (cognates: Old Norse klute "kerchief," Danish klud "rag, tatter," Frisian klut "lump," Dutch kluit "clod, lump"); perhaps related to clot (v.).

In later use "a handkerchief," also "a woman's sanitary napkin." Sense of "a blow" is from c.1400 early 14c., from the verb. Sense of "personal influence" is 1958, on the notion of "punch, force."
clout (v.) Look up clout at Dictionary.com
"to beat, strike," early 14c., from clout (n.), perhaps on the notion of hitting someone with a lump of something, or from the "patch of cloth" sense of that word (compare clout (v.) "to patch, mend," mid-14c.). Related: Clouted; clouting.
clove (n.1) Look up clove at Dictionary.com
dried flowerbud of a certain tropical tree, used as a spice, late 15c., earlier clowes (14c.), from Anglo-French clowes de gilofre (c.1200), Old French clou de girofle "nail of gillyflower," so called from its shape, from Latin clavus "a nail" (see slot (n.2)). For second element, see gillyflower. The two cloves were much confused in Middle English. The clove pink is so called from the scent of the flowers.
clove (n.2) Look up clove at Dictionary.com
"slice of garlic," Old English clufu "clove (of garlic), bulb, tuber," from Proto-Germanic *klubo "cleft, thing cloven," from PIE *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave" (see cleave (v.1)). Its Germanic cognates mostly lurk in compounds that translate as "clove-leek," such as Old Saxon clufloc, Old High German chlobilouh. Dissimilation produced Dutch knoflook, German knoblauch.
cloven (adj.) Look up cloven at Dictionary.com
"divided, split," Old English clofen, past participle adjective from cleave (v.1).
clover (n.) Look up clover at Dictionary.com
Old English clafre, clæfre "clover," from Proto-Germanic *klaibron (cognates: Old Saxon kle, Middle Low German klever, Middle Dutch claver, Dutch klaver, Old High German kleo, German Klee "clover"), of uncertain origin.

Klein and Liberman write that it is probably from West Germanic *klaiwaz- "sticky pap" (see clay), and Liberman adds, "The sticky juice of clover was the base of the most popular sort of honey." First reference in English to the suposed luck of a four-leaf clover is from c.1500. To be in clover "live luxuriously" is 1710, "clover being extremely delicious and fattening to cattle" [Johnson].
cloverleaf (n.) Look up cloverleaf at Dictionary.com
1882, from clover + leaf (n.). Highway interchange sense attested by 1933.
Clovis Look up Clovis at Dictionary.com
type of prehistoric stone spearpoints, 1943, from Clovis, New Mexico, U.S., near which place they were found. The town is said to have been named for the Frankish king Clovis (Latinized from Frankish Chlodovech, from Germanic masc. proper name *hluda-wigaz "famous in battle," cognate with Ludwig and Louis).
clowder Look up clowder at Dictionary.com
1811, variant of clutter.
clown (n.) Look up clown at Dictionary.com
1560s, clowne, also cloyne, "rustic, boor, peasant," origin uncertain. Perhaps from Scandinavian dialect (compare Icelandic klunni "clumsy, boorish fellow;" Swedish kluns "a hard knob; a clumsy fellow," Danish klunt "log, block"), or akin to North Frisian klönne "clumsy person." Or, less likely, from Latin colonus "colonist, farmer," though awareness of this word might have influenced the sense development in English.

Meaning "professional fool, professional or habitual jester" is c.1600. "The pantomime clown represents a blend of the Shakes[pearean] rustic with one of the stock types of the It. comedy" [Weekley]. Meaning "contemptible person" is from 1920s. Fem. form clowness attested from 1801.
clown (v.) Look up clown at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "to play the clown onstage," from clown (n.); colloquial sense of "to behave inappropriately" (as in clown around, 1932) attested by 1928, perhaps from theatrical slang sense of "play a (non-comical) part farcically or comically" (1891). Related: Clowned; clowning.
clownage (n.) Look up clownage at Dictionary.com
"function or manners of a clown or jester," 1580s, from clown (n.) + -age.
clownery (n.) Look up clownery at Dictionary.com
1580s, from clown (n.) + -ery.
clownify (v.) Look up clownify at Dictionary.com
1610s, from clown (n.) + -ify. Related: Clownified; clownifying.
clowning (n.) Look up clowning at Dictionary.com
1861, verbal noun from clown (v.).
clownish (adj.) Look up clownish at Dictionary.com
1560s, "rustic;" 1580s, "boorish, ungainly, awkward," from clown (n.) + -ish. Related: Clownishly; clownishness.
cloy (v.) Look up cloy at Dictionary.com
"weary by too much, fill to loathing, surfeit," 1520s, from Middle English cloyen "hinder movement, encumber" (late 14c.), a shortening of accloyen (early 14c.), from Old French encloer "to fasten with a nail, grip, grasp," figuratively "to hinder, check, stop, curb," from Late Latin inclavare "drive a nail into a horse's foot when shoeing," from Latin clavus "a nail" (see slot (n.2)).
Accloye is a hurt that cometh of shooing, when a Smith driveth a nail in the quick, which make him to halt. [Edward Topsell, "The History of Four-footed Beasts," 1607]
The figurative meaning "fill to a satiety, overfill" is attested for accloy from late 14c. Related: Cloyed; cloying.
cloying (adj.) Look up cloying at Dictionary.com
1640s, present participle adjective from cloy (v.). Related: Cloyingly; cloyingness.
cloze (n.) Look up cloze at Dictionary.com
1953, in psychological writing, evidently abstracted from the pronunciation of closure.
club (n.) Look up club at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "thick stick used as a weapon," from Old Norse klubba "cudgel" or a similar Scandinavian source (compare Swedish klubba, Danish klubbe), assimilated from Proto-Germanic *klumbon, related to clump (n.). Old English words for this were sagol, cycgel. Specific sense of "bat used in games" is from mid-15c.

The club suit in the deck of cards (1560s) bears the correct name (Spanish basto, Italian bastone), but the pattern adopted on English cards is the French trefoil. Compare Danish klőver, Dutch klaver "a club at cards," literally "a clover."

The social club (1660s) apparently evolved from this word from the verbal sense "gather in a club-like mass" (1620s), then, as a noun, "association of people" (1640s).
We now use the word clubbe for a sodality in a tavern. [John Aubrey, 1659]



Admission to membership of clubs is commonly by ballot. Clubs are now an important feature of social life in all large cities, many of them occupying large buildings containing reading-rooms, libraries, restaurants, etc. [Century Dictionary, 1902]



I got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it. [Rufus T. Firefly]
Club sandwich recorded by 1899, apparently as a type of sandwich served in clubs; club soda is 1877, originally a proprietary name.
club (v.) Look up club at Dictionary.com
"to hit with a club," 1590s, from club (v.). Meaning "gather in a club-like mass" is from 1620s. Related: Clubbed; clubbing.
CLUB, verb (military). -- In manoeuvring troops, so to blunder the word of command that the soldiers get into a position from which they cannot extricate themselves by ordinary tactics. [Farmer & Henley]
club-fist (n.) Look up club-fist at Dictionary.com
1570s, "a large fist," hence, "a brutal fellow," from club (n.) + fist (n.).
club-foot (n.) Look up club-foot at Dictionary.com
also clubfoot, "deformed foot," 1530s, from club (n.) + foot (n.).
club-house (n.) Look up club-house at Dictionary.com
also clubhouse, "place of meeting and refreshment always open to those who sre members of the club," 1818, from club (n.) in the associative sense + house (n.). Clubhouse lawyer is baseball slang by 1940s.
clubbed (adj.) Look up clubbed at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "shaped like a club," from club (n.). Specifically of defects of the foot by c.1500; meaning "formed into a club" is from 1620s.
clubby (adj.) Look up clubby at Dictionary.com
"of a social disposition," 1859, from club (n.) in the associative sense + -y (2). Related: Clubbily; clubbiness.
cluck (v.) Look up cluck at Dictionary.com
Old English cloccian originally echoic. Compare Turkish culuk, one of the words for "turkey;" Greek klozein, Latin glocire, German glucken. Related: Clucked; clucking.