noun, plural nielli [nee-el-ee] .
a black metallic substance, consisting of silver, copper, lead, and sulfur, with which an incised design or ground is filled to produce an ornamental effect on metal.
ornamental work so produced.
a specimen of such work.
a print on paper made from an incised metal plate before the application of niello and associated especially with 15th-century Italy.
verb (used with object), nielloed, nielloing.
to decorate by means of niello; treat with niello or by the niello process.

1810–20; < Italian < Latin nigellus blackish, diminutive of niger black

niellist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
niello (nɪˈɛləʊ)
n , pl -li, -los
1.  a black compound of sulphur and silver, lead, or copper used to incise a design on a metal surface
2.  the process of decorating surfaces with niello
3.  a surface or object decorated with niello
vb , -li, -los, -los, -loing, -loed
4.  (tr) to decorate or treat with niello
[C19: from Italian from Latin nigellus blackish, from niger black]

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Example sentences
Reverse side of scabbard bears a silver niello motif of animals and flowers.
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