What does porcelain mean?

Definitions for porcelain
ˈpɔr sə lɪn, ˈpoʊr-; ˈpɔrs lɪn, ˈpoʊrs-porce·lain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word porcelain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. porcelainnoun

    ceramic ware made of a more or less translucent ceramic


  1. porcelainnoun

    a hard, white, translucent ceramic that is made by firing kaolin and other materials; china.

  2. porcelainnoun

    anything manufactured from this material.

  3. Etymology: From porcelaine 'cowrie, chinaware', from porcellana 'cowrie, chinaware', from porcella, the mussel and cockle shells which painters put their pigments in, literally 'female piglet'.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Porcelainnoun

    Etymology: porcelaine, Fr. said to be derived from pourcent anneés; because it was believed by Europeans, that the materials of porcelain was matured under ground one hundred years.

    We have burials in several earths, where we put divers cements, as the Chinese do their porcelain. Francis Bacon.

    We are not thoroughly resolved concerning porcelain or china dishes; that according to common belief, they are made of earth, which lieth in preparation about a hundred years under ground. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    The fine materials made it weak;
    Porcelain, by being pure, is apt to break. Dryden.

    These look like the workmanship of heav’n:
    This is the porcelain clay of human kind,
    And therefore cast into these noble molds. Dryden.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Porcelainnoun


  2. Porcelainnoun

    a fine translucent or semitransculent kind of earthenware, made first in China and Japan, but now also in Europe and America; -- called also China, or China ware

  3. Etymology: [F. porcelaine, It. porcellana, orig., the porcelain shell, or Venus shell (Cypra porcellana), from a dim. fr. L. porcus pig, probably from the resemblance of the shell in shape to a pig's back. Porcelain was called after this shell, either on account of its smoothness and whiteness, or because it was believed to be made from it. See Pork.]


  1. Porcelain

    Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 °C and 1,400 °C. The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain arise mainly from the formation of glass and the mineral mullite within the fired body at these high temperatures. Porcelain derives its present name from old Italian porcellana because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell. Porcelain can informally be referred to as "china" or "fine china" in some English-speaking countries, as China was the birthplace of porcelain making. Properties associated with porcelain include low permeability and elasticity; considerable strength, hardness, toughness, whiteness, translucency and resonance; and a high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock. For the purposes of trade, the Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities defines porcelain as being "completely vitrified, hard, impermeable, white or artificially coloured, translucent, and resonant." However, the term porcelain lacks a universal definition and has "been applied in a very unsystematic fashion to substances of diverse kinds which have only certain surface-qualities in common".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Porcelain

    pors′lān, n. a fine earthenware, white, thin, semi-transparent, first made in China: china-ware.—adj. of the nature of porcelain.—adjs. Por′celānous, Porcellā′neous, Por′cellānous.—n. Por′cellanite, a very hard, impure, jaspideous rock.—Cast, or Fusible, porcelain, a milky glass made of silica and cryolite with oxide of zinc; Egg-shell porcelain, an extremely thin and translucent porcelain; False porcelain, a name given to the artificial or soft-paste porcelain; Frit porcelain, a name given to artificial soft-paste English porcelain, from its vitreous nature; Tender porcelain, a ware imitating hard-paste or natural porcelain. [O. Fr. porcelaine—It. porcellana, the Venus' shell—L. porcella, a young sow—porcus, a pig.]

Editors Contribution

  1. porcelain

    Is a type of ceramic material.

    Many dishes, cups, plates and decorations are made from Porcelain.

    Submitted by MaryC on August 5, 2015  

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of porcelain in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of porcelain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of porcelain in a Sentence

  1. Jussi Pylkkanen:

    Collectors from different countries are appreciating masters from Picasso to Rothko, whether it's furniture or porcelain or artists who represent the best in 20th-century painting, they appreciate the best in class.

  2. Ezra Pound:

    As a bathtub lined with white porcelain, when the hot water gives out or goes tepid, so is the slow cooling of our chivalrous passion, o my much praised but-not-altogether-satisfactory lady.

  3. Annabel Shelander:

    She looked like a little porcelain doll.

  4. Tom Carter:

    Hair salon doorways in the capital city's pink light district. Working as a xiaojie is an alternative, albeit illicit, means of income for these underprivileged girls, who are known in Jiangxi as "porcelain with cracks" and in Ningxia as "wilted flowers".

  5. Tory Burch:

    Porcelain has always been a passion, i was raised around it.

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    property that provides tax income for local governments
    • A. rateables
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