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

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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’s also paper-thin porcelain from Astier de Villatte and striped cashmere throws from the Elderstatesmen. Vogue, "Our Readers Nominated These Small Businesses Across America for Vogue’s Retail Directory," 22 Feb. 2021 Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs are no match for this cleaner. Lauren Smith Mcdonough, Good Housekeeping, "8 Homemade Cleaners That Actually Work, According to Our Cleaning Expert," 18 Feb. 2021 Ceramic and porcelain retain and regulate heat particularly well without getting too hot or wavering between temperatures. Carsen Joenk, Popular Science, "The best hair dryer: Get a salon-worthy blowout at home," 22 Jan. 2021 Ceramic or porcelain tile is now the top choice (24%). Kim Palmer, Star Tribune, "Latest kitchen trends tracked in Houzz," 22 Jan. 2021 Next year’s theme may include creepy dolls painted with cracks that snake across porcelain faces. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "Creative San Antonio craft designer and family transform home into Halloween fright fest," 26 Oct. 2020 From here one can access the full bath, which offers a white porcelain trough sink that’s mounted to the wall, a stand-alone shower behind a curtain, shelving, and brick-red ceramic tile flooring. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Home of the Week: A 3-bedroom unit in a Fort Point artists co-op puts creativity on display," 5 Feb. 2021 For bigger problems—and deeper pockets—there are porcelain veneers, which are Lowenberg’s and Apa’s specialty. Jessica Iredale, Town & Country, "Smile! How Dental Work Became the New Face-Lift," 26 Jan. 2021 Black porcelain is easy to clean by hand or in a dishwasher. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best broiler pan," 19 Dec. 2020

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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Learn More about porcelain

Time Traveler for porcelain Time Traveler

The first known use of porcelain was circa 1530

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Statistics for porcelain

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Porcelain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porcelain. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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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 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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