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[ter-uh-kot-uh] /ˈtɛr əˈkɒt ə/
made of or having the color of terra cotta.
Origin of terra-cotta
First recorded in 1865-70

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.
1715-25; < Italian: literally, baked earth < Latin terra cōcta Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for terra-cotta
Historical Examples
  • It is noted for its terra-cotta ware, clocks, and Museum of Antiquities.


    M. Pearson Thomson
  • No. 19 is a splendid terra-cotta vase from the Palace of Priam.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • He came to a stop, and sat staring at the terra-cotta Spanish floor-tiles.

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

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • The slab of terra-cotta was the most obvious material for its reception.

  • Here the terra-cotta pipes are about eight inches in diameter.

  • terra-cotta pipe should not be permitted in filled-in ground.

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

    The Expositor's Bible F. W. Farrar
  • The terra-cotta work is, I think, also too free for Fermo Stella.

    Ex Voto Samuel Bulter
  • Fig. 362 shows a terra-cotta spindle-whorl from Malacate, Nicaragua.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson
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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