por·​ce·​lain | \ ˈpȯr-s(ə-)lən How to pronounce porcelain (audio) \

Definition of porcelain

1 : a hard, fine-grained, sonorous, nonporous, and usually translucent and white ceramic ware that consists essentially of kaolin, quartz, and a feldspathic rock and is fired at a high temperature

called also hard-paste porcelain, true porcelain

Other Words from porcelain

porcelainlike \ ˈpȯr-​s(ə-​)lən-​ˌlīk How to pronounce porcelain (audio) \ adjective
porcelaneous or porcellaneous \ ˌpȯr-​sə-​ˈlā-​nē-​əs How to pronounce porcelain (audio) \ adjective

Examples of porcelain in a Sentence

The bowl is made of porcelain.
Recent Examples on the Web There is a seamless glass-door porcelain tile shower, limestone counters, double sinks and floor-to-ceiling cherry wood cabinetry with seeded glass. Karen A. Avitabile, Hartford Courant, 7 May 2022 Dark brown porcelain tile printed with an overwrought acanthus leaf design. Marni Katz, House Beautiful, 27 Apr. 2022 Suede and silk cover the walls, and the ceilings alternate between river rock and wave porcelain tile. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 The backsplash is porcelain tile, and the appliances are stainless steel. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Apr. 2022 Vintage tubs are made of cast iron, which is brittle, and a coating of porcelain, which shatters like glass. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 Instead of Grand Dukes and Prussian officers, Schwerin Castle now houses the State Parliament, as well as a museum, porcelain collection, and concert venue. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 21 Mar. 2022 Think embossed, candy-colored glasses, Talavera ceramic egg cups with matching butter dishes and gold-rimmed porcelain plates decorated with zodiac symbols — a bold motif borrowed from the jewelry line. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2022 Throughout the downstairs is 24-inch-by-48-inch Metal Light porcelain tile flooring from Unique Stone Imports. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of porcelain

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for porcelain

Middle French porcelaine cowrie shell, porcelain, from Italian porcellana, from porcello vulva, literally, little pig, from Latin porcellus, diminutive of porcus pig, vulva; from the shape of the shell — more at farrow

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Time Traveler for porcelain

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The first known use of porcelain was circa 1530

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Dictionary Entries Near porcelain



porcelain ampelopsis

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Porcelain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porcelain. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for porcelain


por·​ce·​lain | \ ˈpȯr-sə-lən How to pronounce porcelain (audio) \

Kids Definition of porcelain

: a hard white product of baked clay used especially for dishes, tile, and decorative objects


por·​ce·​lain | \ ˈpōr-s(ə-)lən, ˈpȯr- How to pronounce porcelain (audio) \

Medical Definition of porcelain

: a hard, fine-grained, nonporous, and usually translucent and white ceramic ware that consists essentially of kaolin, quartz, and feldspar and that has many uses in dentistry


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