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 porcelainlike (audio) \ adjective
porcelaneous or porcellaneous \ ˌpȯr-​sə-​ˈlā-​nē-​əs How to pronounce porcellaneous (audio) \ adjective

Examples of porcelain in a Sentence

The bowl is made of porcelain.
Recent Examples on the Web Nats, intense and porcelain-skinned, is a lifelong tomboy. James Reginato, Town & Country, "Outrageous Fortune: Nats, August, and Gigi Gorgeous Getty Are Not Your Typical Old-Money Scions," 14 Jan. 2020 Some people just have the genetic disposition to look incredible with porcelain skin. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Best Spray Tan Tips From Ariana Grande’s Spray Tan Artist," 18 Oct. 2019 His quest for fine English and Chinese export porcelain, fanciful floral chintz fabrics and quirky accessories became a lifelong passion. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, "Design royalty is all atwitter about the Prince of Chintz auction," 23 Jan. 2020 The chef's kitchen is also expansive and features porcelain floors. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Shaquille O'Neal's LA Home Has Very High Ceilings (and Hilarious Art)," 22 Nov. 2019 Two bedrooms feature front-facing window seats and share a full bathroom with a dual-sink vanity, porcelain tile floor, and tub/shower combination. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Intricately remodeled home in Alamo’s Bryan Meadow area showcases a private playland," 9 Sep. 2019 Throughout the house are concrete walls and ceilings, porcelain tile floors and Brazilian wood details. New York Times, "House Hunting in … Nicaragua," 2 May 2018 Willcox hoists a porcelain cup containing a bright yellow brew. National Geographic, "These traditional diets can lead to long lives," 17 Dec. 2019 The porcelain piece features LED lights that illuminate every window and string light. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "Elvis Fans Need This Replica of Christmas at Graceland," 4 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for porcelain

Time Traveler

The first known use of porcelain was circa 1530

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Statistics for porcelain

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Porcelain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porcelain. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for porcelain


How to pronounce porcelain (audio)

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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