(used with a singular verb) the art or technology of making objects of clay and similar materials treated by firing.
(used with a plural verb) articles of earthenware, porcelain, etc.

1855–60; see ceramic, -ics

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of or pertaining to products made from clay and similar materials, as pottery and brick, or to their manufacture: ceramic art.
ceramic material.

1840–50; variant of keramic < Greek keramikós, equivalent to kéram(os) potters' clay + -ikos -ic

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World English Dictionary
ceramic (sɪˈræmɪk)
1.  a hard brittle material made by firing clay and similar substances
2.  an object made from such a material
3.  of, relating to, or made from a ceramic: this vase is ceramic
4.  of or relating to ceramics: ceramic arts and crafts
[C19: from Greek keramikos, from keramos potter's clay, pottery]

ceramics (sɪˈræmɪks)
(functioning as singular) the art and techniques of producing articles of clay, porcelain, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1850, from Gk. keramikos, from keramos "potter's clay, pottery."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
ceramic   (sə-rām'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various hard, brittle, heat- and corrosion-resistant materials made typically of metallic elements combined with oxygen or with carbon, nitrogen, or sulfur. Most ceramics are crystalline and are poor conductors of electricity, though some recently discovered copper-oxide ceramics are superconductors at low temperatures.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


Ceramics are broadly defined as inorganic, nonmetallic materials that exhibit such useful properties as high strength and hardness, high melting temperatures, chemical inertness, and low thermal and electrical conductivity but that also display brittleness and sensitivity to flaws. As practical materials, they have a history almost as old as the human race. Traditional ceramic products, made from common, naturally occurring minerals such as clay and sand, have long been the object of the potter, the brickmaker, and the glazier. Modern advanced ceramics, on the other hand, are often produced under exacting conditions in the laboratory and call into play the skills of the chemist, the physicist, and the engineer. Containing a variety of ingredients and manipulated by a variety of processing techniques, ceramics are made into a wide range of industrial products, from common floor tile to nuclear fuel pellets. Yet all these disparate products owe their utility to a set of properties that are universally recognized as ceramic-like, and these properties in turn owe their existence to chemical bonds and atomic structures that are peculiar to the material. The composition, structure, and properties of industrial ceramics, their processing into both traditional and advanced materials, and the products made from those materials are the subject of many articles on particular traditional or advanced ceramic products, such as whitewares, abrasives, conductive ceramics, and bioceramics. For a more comprehensive understanding of the subject, however, the reader is advised to begin with the central article, on the composition, structure, and properties of ceramic materials

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Its excellence in fine ceramics harks back to its expertise in pottery.
Each blade is grown from a single crystal of alloy for strength and then coated
  with tough ceramics.
These hybrid materials combine the strength of ceramics and the stretchability
  of polymers.
He worked in numerous media, including painting and ceramics.
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