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[in-tahr-see-uh] /ɪnˈtɑr si ə/
an art or technique of decorating a surface with inlaid patterns, especially of wood mosaic, developed during the Renaissance.
Also, tarsia.
Origin of intarsia
1860-65; alteration (influenced by Italian tarsia) of Italian intarsio, derivative of intarsiare to inlay, equivalent to in- in-2 + tarsiare < Arabic tarṣīʿ an inlay, incrustation; see tarsia
Related forms
[in-tahr-see-eyt, -it] /ɪnˈtɑr siˌeɪt, -ɪt/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for intarsia
Historical Examples
  • At the south end is one of the finest examples of intarsia, or inlaid wood-work, in Italy.

    Cathedral Cities of Italy William Wiehe Collins
  • Of all the examples of pictorial intarsia the most elaborate are perhaps those in the choir stalls of Sta.

  • The painter, the mosaicist, and the designer for intarsia are confused in a similar manner.

    Intarsia and Marquetry F. Hamilton Jackson
  • Bosses of lions' heads and rosettes project from the surfaces of the beams, between which the intarsia panels are flat.

    Intarsia and Marquetry F. Hamilton Jackson
  • In some of the early Italian "intarsia" the decoration was cut into the surface of the panel piece by piece.

    Illustrated History of Furniture Frederick Litchfield
  • The same writer mentions still more elaborate examples of pictorial "intarsia" in the choir stalls of Sta.

    Illustrated History of Furniture Frederick Litchfield
  • The intarsia doors of the palace at Urbino are among the most famous examples of this form of decoration.

    The Decoration of Houses Edith Wharton
British Dictionary definitions for intarsia


a decorative or pictorial mosaic of inlaid wood or sometimes ivory of a style developed in the Italian Renaissance and used esp on wooden wall panels
the art or practice of making such mosaics
(in knitting) an individually worked motif
Word Origin
C19: changed from Italian intarsio
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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