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terra cotta

[kot-uh] /ˈkɒt ə/
a hard, fired clay, brownish-red in color when unglazed, that is used for architectural ornaments and facings, structural units, pottery, and as a material for sculpture.
something made of terra cotta.
a brownish-orange color like that of unglazed terra cotta.
Origin of terra cotta
1715-25; < Italian: literally, baked earth < Latin terra cōcta


[ter-uh-kot-uh] /ˈtɛr əˈkɒt ə/
made of or having the color of terra cotta.
1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for terra-cotta
Historical Examples
  • Cleo reclined on the same couch, robed in a terra-cotta gown which Morgan recognised at once.

    Cleo The Magnificent Louis Zangwill
  • He came to a stop, and sat staring at the terra-cotta Spanish floor-tiles.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
  • Maria in Strada; the most elaborate example of late work in brick and terra-cotta that I have anywhere seen.

  • The too lachrymose Madonna in terra-cotta, 256, already ushers in the decadence.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • Voltaire has a blue surcoat, a terra-cotta cloak, and lilac vest.

    Chats on Old Earthenware Arthur Hayden
  • terra-cotta pipe should not be permitted in filled-in ground.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
  • The detail is very elaborate, and in the arch a great number of terra-cotta ornaments are introduced.

  • Three of Nebuchadrezzar's terra-cotta cylinders have been found at Tahpanhes.

    The Expositor's Bible F. W. Farrar
  • If the living figure does not move much, it is easy at first to mistake it for a terra-cotta one.

  • The terra-cotta work is, I think, also too free for Fermo Stella.

    Ex Voto Samuel Bulter
Word Origin and History for terra-cotta

1722, from Italian terra cotta, literally "cooked earth," from terra "earth" (see terrain) + cotta "baked," from Latin cocta, fem. past participle of coquere (see cook (n.)). As a color name for brownish-red, attested from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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