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

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 The image of the gray-haired family physician, stethoscope in ear, patiently listening to the heartbeat of a porcelain doll as his young patient looks on, is indelible in the public memory. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Why Hasn’t Telemedicine Taken Off? Hey, Blame This Guy.," 3 July 2018 The total 1,564 Rockefeller lots reflected the couple’s eclectic tastes in everything from fine furniture, porcelain and ceramics to duck decoys and blue-chip art that graced their various properties and David’s bank office. Washington Post, "Rockefeller treasures break record for single-owner auction," 12 May 2018 That includes reviving her natural hair texture, and maintaining the porcelain glow that's become her signature. refinery29.com, "Nicole Kidman's Best Beauty Secrets Involve Plenty Of Sunscreen & A Fever," 25 June 2018 You’re also lulled by the background color, a restful celadon borrowed from Korean porcelain. Kathleen Renda, House Beautiful, "A Spanish Bungalow Is Reimagined with Artistic Prints and Patterns," 2 Apr. 2018 Garlic season is winding down, which means those beautiful bulbs of fresh purple stripe, porcelain, and elephant garlic (and the hundreds of other garlic varieties out there) will start dwindling. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "6 Really Easy Ways You Can Make Your Garlic Last Much Longer," 11 July 2017

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

11 Sep 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

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