from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The incombustible residue, fused into an irregular lump, that remains after the combustion of coal.
  • n. A partially vitrified brick or a mass of bricks fused together.
  • n. An extremely hard burned brick.
  • n. Vitrified matter expelled by a volcano.
  • n. Slang A sour note in a musical performance: hit a clinker.
  • n. Slang A mistake; a blunder.
  • n. Slang Something of inferior quality; a conspicuous failure: a clinker of a show.
  • n. Chiefly British Something admirable or first-rate.
  • intransitive v. To form clinkers in burning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Someone or something that clinks.
  • n. Fetters.
  • n. Someone or something that clinches.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mass composed of several bricks run together by the action of the fire in the kiln.
  • n. Scoria or vitrified incombustible matter, formed in a grate or furnace where anthracite coal in used; vitrified or burnt matter ejected from a volcano; slag.
  • n. A scale of oxide of iron, formed in forging.
  • n. A kind of brick. See Dutch clinker, under Dutch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To form clinker; become incrusted with clinker.
  • n. That which clinks. Specifically
  • n. A metal-heeled shoe used in dancing jigs.
  • n. The partly melted and agglutinated residuum of the combustion of coal which has a fusible ash.
  • n. A partially vitrified brick or mass of bricks.
  • n. A kind of hard Dutch or Flemish brick, used for paving yards and stables.
  • n. Vitrified or burnt matter thrown up by a volcano.
  • n. A scale of black oxid of iron, formed when iron is heated to redness in the open air.
  • n. A deep impression of a horse's or cow's foot; a small puddle so formed.
  • n. In cricket, a ball bowled exceedingly well.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. clear out the cinders and clinker from
  • v. turn to clinker or form clinker under excessive heat in burning
  • n. a fragment of incombustible matter left after a wood or coal or charcoal fire
  • n. a hard brick used as a paving stone


Obsolete Dutch klinckaerd, from Middle Dutch klinken, to clink; see clink1. N., senses 5 and 6, from clink1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dutch klinkaerd, later klinker, from klinken ("to ring, resound"). (Wiktionary)
From clink +‎ -er. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Then she opened the door of the cold and silent furnace and stuck her hand inside. 'Eureka!' she shouted, with a loud, metallic echo, for there at the bottom of the furnace, with a sparse scattering of ashes and one forgotten clinker, lay the clue!"
    Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright, p 195 of the 2008 paperback

    July 15, 2011

  • “The United States spends more energy to produce a ton of cement clinker than Canada, Mexico and even China.�?

    The New York Times, Energy Inefficient , January 18, 2009

    January 19, 2009

  • Usage note on lapstrake.

    May 1, 2008