Your mom's favorite white china plates are probably made out of porcelain. Porcelain is a nearly translucent ceramic material used to make plates, bowls, and cups.

The dishes at a fancy restaurant are often porcelain, a fine, delicate kind of china. Sometimes knickknacks, dolls, and art objects are also made from porcelain. The word comes from the Italian word for "cowrie shell," porcellana, which compares the shiny look of porcelain to the polished inside of a shell. Porcelain has a tricky spelling — although it ends with ain, it rhymes with ten, not rain.

Definitions of porcelain

n ceramic ware made of a more or less translucent ceramic

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high quality porcelain originally made only in China
a brand of fine English porcelain
bone china
fine porcelain that contains bone ash
crackle, crackle china, crackleware
glazed china with a network of fine cracks on the surface
Type of:
ceramic ware
utensils made from ceramic material

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