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

And black tea contains tannins, which is likely to leave stains and marks on fabric, skin, china, and even teeth. Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, "A slick video with claims about artificial food spreads online even though some of the claims are fake," 7 June 2019 Mellon led a relatively sequestered life here—the widowed Jacqueline Kennedy and her young family, as well as Hubert de Givenchy, who had a dedicated suite and his own china and linens, were among the few guests. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside Tory Burch’s Lovingly Restored Antigua Getaway," 15 Aug. 2018 The mixed patterns of vintage-look china, holdovers from Seven Beef, seem even more appropriate for this menu of down-home dishes. Providence Cicero, The Seattle Times, "Central Smoke’s Asian-accented, down-home barbecue adds fire and spice to chilly nights," 25 Oct. 2018 This is not a figure of speech; some of the china was owned by Ms. Williams’s grandmother. New York Times, "Farm-to-Table in the Shadow of Downtown Detroit," 29 May 2018 Easily add a pantry with a double-door tall cabinet, or opt for a style with glass doors and a few drawers to store your special occasion china and linens. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Just Right," 11 Feb. 2019 In an otherwise-humdrum estate in Cambridge — heavy on Persian rugs, china dolls and decorative crystal vases — was a white robe, with a deep red patch embroidered over the heart. Washington Post, "KKK robe showed up at a Maryland auction house," 21 Feb. 2018 The botanical print Merritt Botanica Salad Plates ($36 for four at, edged with a bamboo motif, have the look and feel of fine china. Kim Cook, The Seattle Times, "How to bring indoor style to your outdoor entertaining," 26 June 2018 There are other differences, too: today there is no fine china or shellfish in a dining car. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "New York-Chicago Direct Train Shuts Down for First Time in Over a Century," 8 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of china


1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for china


Persian chīnī Chinese porcelain

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Dictionary Entries near china






china ale

China aster

Statistics for china

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for china

The first known use of china was in 1579

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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

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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

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