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

porcelainlike adjective
porcelaneous adjective
or porcellaneous

Examples of porcelain in a Sentence

The bowl is made of porcelain.
Recent Examples on the Web Several pieces were made by slathering various kinds of clay — including kaolin, a soft white substance used for porcelain — on canvases or wooden panels. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 There are four coil burner elements on this range’s cooktop, each with different sizes and heats for various cooking types, and the cooktop is a smooth porcelain steel for easily wiping up spills. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Nov. 2023 Product specs: Non-porous porcelain body, textured tip, dual-ended, 3.5-inch insertable length per side, 1.73 inches wide at the girthiest point. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 19 Nov. 2023 Crafted from porcelain, these bowls resist cracks, stains, and scratches, while their elegant weight adds a touch of quality and style. Hannah Rice, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2023 To make your own box, start with a bag or two of dumplings and add in accessories like a porcelain soup spoon and a nice bowl. WIRED, 8 Nov. 2023 Other notable amenities are a saltwater swimming pool and a separate cedar hot tub, a loft-like room that would be ideal as an art studio, Italian porcelain floors and a kitchen with premium Sub-Zero appliances. James McClain, Robb Report, 27 Oct. 2023 Between tall, stained oak archways, banquet tables were piled high with florals, porcelain, and bronze animal figurines. Mario Abad, Vogue, 6 Nov. 2023 Your work pairs bronze and stone with materials historically associated with craft and women’s work: ceramics, porcelain, terra cotta, raffia. Kriston Capps, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of porcelain was circa 1530

Dictionary Entries Near porcelain

Cite this Entry

“Porcelain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porcelain. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


por·​ce·​lain ˈpōr-s(ə-)lən How to pronounce porcelain (audio)
: a hard white ceramic ware used especially for dishes and chemical utensils

Medical Definition


por·​ce·​lain ˈpōr-s(ə-)lən, ˈpȯr- How to pronounce porcelain (audio)
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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