chi·​na | \ ˈchī-nə How to pronounce china (audio) \

Definition of china

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : porcelain also : vitreous porcelain wares (such as dishes, vases, or ornaments) for domestic use
2 : earthenware or porcelain tableware


geographical name
Chi·​na | \ ˈchī-nə How to pronounce China (audio) \
variants: or officially People's Republic of China

Definition of China (Entry 2 of 2)

country of eastern Asia bordering on the Pacific; the most populous country in the world; a republic whose capital is Beijing area 3,691,502 square miles (9,597,905 square kilometers), population 1,335,000,000

see also chinese

Examples of china in a Sentence


She uses her good china when she has company for dinner.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Adeline Mann brings bull-in-a-china-shop clumsiness to the teacher who wants her wee wards to explore and celebrate racial difference. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "Theater review: “Fairfield” at Miners Alley is an ouchy-funny race comedy," 22 July 2019 Vic is gruff and bumbling and often appears almost literally as a bull in a china shop. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Buddy comedy ‘Stuber’ runs on fumes," 11 July 2019 The sideboard and china cabinet in the dining room are filled with dishes. Susan Harlan, Curbed, "The dish store that is my home away from home," 11 July 2019 Far below you, heavy things are oscillating, the seismic plates of those leaf springs grinding a perpetual fault line that rattles the china up there in the penthouse. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Ram 3500 Is Textbook Outrageous," 22 July 2019 Trudeau is likely getting the good china ready, according to CBC. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "Will President Trump invite hostile foreign power Toronto Raptors to the White House?," 14 June 2019 The process of transferring the print onto the china. Sarah Medford, WSJ, "A New Transferware Collaboration From Ralph Lauren and Burleigh," 11 Dec. 2018 His collection of china and crystal set the scene for dressy dinner parties. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Food at this Italian restaurant in Old Louisville isn't your nonna's," 5 June 2018 But this raises the likelihood of a confrontation with Johnson, or whomever becomes the British PM, which in turn increases the possibility of a hard Brexit -- which might be best likened to the aforementioned elephant storming out of a china shop. Nic Robertson, CNN, "The week that finally laid bare the Brexit myths," 9 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'china.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of china


1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for china


Persian chīnī Chinese porcelain

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about china

Dictionary Entries near china






china ale

China aster

Statistics for china

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for china

The first known use of china was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for china



English Language Learners Definition of china

: a hard white material that is made of baked clay and used to make plates, bowls, etc.
: plates, bowls, cups, etc., that are made of china


chi·​na | \ ˈchī-nə How to pronounce china (audio) \

Kids Definition of china

1 : porcelain
2 : dishes of pottery or porcelain for use as tableware

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on china

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with china

Spanish Central: Translation of china

Nglish: Translation of china for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of china for Arabic Speakers

Comments on china

What made you want to look up china? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!