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[muh-jol-i-kuh, muh-yol-] /məˈdʒɒl ɪ kə, məˈyɒl-/
Italian earthenware covered with an opaque glaze of tin oxide and usually highly decorated.
any earthenware having an opaque glaze of tin oxide.
Also, maiolica.
Origin of majolica
1545-55; ear-lier maiolica < Italian < Medieval Latin, variant of Late Latin Mājorica Majorca, where it was made Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for majolica
Historical Examples
  • For her, the temptations of old brass, mezzo-tints, and Italian majolica—Fourth Avenue generally—simply did not exist.

    The Real Adventure Henry Kitchell Webster
  • First Room contains a collection of majolica from the Cini family.

    Rambles in Rome S. Russell Forbes
  • Venice had majolica factories at least as early as 1520, and probably half a century before that date.

    The Ceramic Art Jennie J. Young
  • Some majolica vases, with coiled snake handles, were very creditable.

    The Ceramic Art Jennie J. Young
  • A plate is furnished each place, large enough to contain the majolica plate for raw oysters.

    Social Life Maud C. Cooke
  • Ferrari believes that the use of majolica, as well as the name, came from Majorca, which the ancient writers called majolica.

    The Ceramic Art Jennie J. Young
  • One cabinet was full of Murano glass of delicate shape and colour, of porcelain dishes, and majolica from Faenza or Gubbio.

  • A precisely similar style of decoration is employed on many household vessels of earthen-ware or majolica.

    The Ceramic Art Jennie J. Young
  • There was gilt in the railing, and tall lanky palms stood about in majolica pots.

    Manslaughter Alice Duer Miller
  • Some small plaques of majolica were also exhibited, of careful workmanship and tasteful ornamentation.

    The Ceramic Art Jennie J. Young
British Dictionary definitions for majolica


/məˈdʒɒlɪkə; məˈjɒl-/
a type of porous pottery glazed with bright metallic oxides that was originally imported into Italy via Majorca and was extensively made in Italy during the Renaissance
Word Origin
C16: from Italian, from Late Latin Mājorica Majorca
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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Word Origin and History for majolica

Italian glazed pottery, 1550s, from Italian Majolica, 14c. name of island now known as Majorca in the Balearics, from Latin maior (see major (adj.)); so called because it is the largest of the three islands. The best pottery of this type was said to have been made there.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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