China is a kind of ceramic or porcelain tableware. If your grandmother asks you to put the china on the table, you'll grab a stack of plates.
You can use the word china, with a lowercase c, to mean dishes or plates in general, although the word usually specifies a fine, high-quality kind of ceramic. A china tea cup is delicate, and has a matching saucer, and your dad's best china might only come out at Thanksgiving. Because this delicate kind of dish was originally imported from China, it was first called Chinaware, later shortened to china.
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