por·​ce·​lain | \ˈpȯr-s(ə-)lən \

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

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Other Words from porcelain

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

Examples of porcelain in a Sentence

The bowl is made of porcelain.

Recent Examples on the Web

The connecting bathroom has hardwood floors, stone surfaces, double vessel porcelain sinks, a stall shower and a soaking tub. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "$800,000 Homes in Missouri, Georgia and Pennsylvania," 16 May 2018 Nearby, a set of frisky porcelain figurines depicts commedia dell’arte characters, all masked. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 2018 In the dining room, around a table set with mixed porcelain patterns—another form of Church playfulness—four mannequins are dressed in an intermingling of pieces from various nationalities and both genders. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Costume & Custom: Middle Eastern Threads at Olana’ Review: A Painter’s Souvenir Closet," 2 July 2018 My diagnosis was followed by extractions, titanium implants in my jaw, installation of porcelain teeth on the implants, bone grafts, a series of gum surgeries -- and that was just the beginning. David Tuller, CNN, "When is dentistry not medicine? When insurance is involved," 28 May 2018 Jonathan Adler designs a SoulCycle bicycle wheel in unglazed porcelain. Jen Derose, House Beautiful, "Holiday Joy Ride: Jonathan Adler's Christmas Tree Ornament for SoulCycle," 8 Nov. 2013 One preps porcelain, another helps with the photography. Alex Ronan, Vogue, "Meet the Berlin Artist Making a Million Porcelain Dishes Before She Dies," 1 July 2018 The collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller, a vast trove of paintings, furniture, porcelain and other treasures, was on the block over three days, with Wednesday offering some of the relative bargains. New York Times, "At Rockefeller Auction, They Came. They Bid. They Mostly Lost.," 9 May 2018 According to Claudia Nahson, a curator at the Jewish Museum, the 20 charms on her bracelet, made from brass, porcelain and wood and strung together on a cord, were either given to her as personal mementos, or bartered in exchange for food. Jane Levere, Smithsonian, "This Remarkable Charm Bracelet Chronicles a Life Inside a Concentration Camp," 16 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for porcelain

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for porcelain

The first known use of porcelain was circa 1530

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More Definitions for porcelain



English Language Learners Definition of porcelain

: a hard, white substance that is very delicate and that is made by baking clay


por·​ce·​lain | \ˈpȯr-sə-lən \

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- \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on porcelain

Spanish Central: Translation of porcelain

Nglish: Translation of porcelain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of porcelain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about porcelain

Comments on porcelain

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full of whispering sounds

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