niello

1 of 2

noun

ni·​el·​lo nē-ˈe-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce niello (audio)
plural nielli nē-ˈe-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce niello (audio) or niellos
1
: any of several black enamel-like alloys usually of sulfur with silver, copper, and lead
2
: the art or process of decorating metal with incised designs filled with niello
3
: a piece of metal or an object decorated with niello

niello

2 of 2

verb

nielloed; nielloing; niellos

transitive verb

: to inlay or ornament with niello

Examples of niello in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Cleaning revealed the cross’ ornate decorations of black niello, or metallic alloy, and gold leaf. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'niello.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Italian, from Medieval Latin nigellum, from neuter of Latin nigellus blackish, diminutive of niger black

First Known Use

Noun

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of niello was in 1816

Dictionary Entries Near niello

Cite this Entry

“Niello.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niello. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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