niello

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

Definition of niello

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

verb
nielloed; nielloing; niellos

Definition of niello (Entry 2 of 2)

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

First Known Use of niello

Noun

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1866, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for niello

Noun

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

Learn More About niello

Dictionary Entries Near niello

niellist

niello

Nielsen

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for niello

Cite this Entry

“Niello.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niello. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on niello

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about niello

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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