(used with a singular verb) the art or technology of making objects of clay and similar materials treated by firing.
(used with a plural verb) articles of earthenware, porcelain, etc.

Origin of ceramics

First recorded in 1855–60; see origin at ceramic, -ics




of or relating to products made from clay and similar materials, as pottery and brick, or to their manufacture: ceramic art.


ceramic material.

Origin of ceramic

1840–50; variant of keramic < Greek keramikós, equivalent to kéram(os) potters' clay + -ikos -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ceramics

wares, china, slipware, terracotta

Examples from the Web for ceramics

Contemporary Examples of ceramics

  • The Daily Pic: James Hyde combines painting, ceramics and photography.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Blake Gopnik

    May 15, 2012

  • The photo's blues and oranges seem to echo some of the greatest Islamic ceramics.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Newsweek's Liohn Roars

    Blake Gopnik

    April 25, 2012

  • I also love strolling around Chinatown to shop for things like ceramics.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fresh Picks

    Alfred Portale

    August 31, 2011

Historical Examples of ceramics

  • Ceramics engineering: general ceramics and ceramics engineering; ceramics; ceramics engineering.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • The making of ceramics was developed to an art, as was the making of different types of glass.

    Space Prison

    Tom Godwin

  • Naturally my chief solicitude was about my collection of Ceramics.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • The ceramics of England are of special interest to the American reader.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • What thickness of ceramics, or fabric, or rubber, or metal remained!

    Double or Nothing

    Jack Sharkey

British Dictionary definitions for ceramics



(functioning as singular) the art and techniques of producing articles of clay, porcelain, etc
Derived Formsceramist (ˈsɛrəmɪst) or ceramicist, noun



a hard brittle material made by firing clay and similar substances
an object made from such a material


of, relating to, or made from a ceramicthis vase is ceramic
of or relating to ceramicsceramic arts and crafts

Word Origin for ceramic

C19: from Greek keramikos, from keramos potter's clay, pottery
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

Word Origin and History for ceramics



1850, keramic, from Greek keramikos, from keramos "potter's clay, pottery, tiles," perhaps from a pre-Hellenic word. Watkins suggests possible connection with Latin cremare "to burn," but Klein's sources are firmly against this. Spelling influenced by French céramique (1806). Related: ceramist (1855). Ceramics is attested from 1857.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ceramics in Science



Any of various hard, brittle, heat- and corrosion-resistant materials made typically of metallic elements combined with oxygen or with carbon, nitrogen, or sulfur. Most ceramics are crystalline and are poor conductors of electricity, though some recently discovered copper-oxide ceramics are superconductors at low temperatures.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.