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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for intarsia
Historical Examples
  • The painter, the mosaicist, and the designer for intarsia are confused in a similar manner.

    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
  • Of all the examples of pictorial intarsia the most elaborate are perhaps those in the choir stalls of Sta.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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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