earthenware having an opaque white glaze with an overglaze decoration, usually in blue.
any pottery resembling this.

Also delf [delf] /dɛlf/.

Origin of delft

First recorded in 1705–15; after Delft
Also called delft ware. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for delf

Historical Examples of delf

  • “It is delf,” said a soldier, referring to the material of which the parapet was constructed.

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • The most exhaustive study from a quantitative standpoint is that of Delf.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • Page 196: "Delf" changed to "Delft" (the common ware from Delft).

    Knowledge is Power:

    Charles Knight

  • Mrs. Delf, the smart and proverbially energetic landlady, was instructed to prepare a more than usually recherch collation.


    Rolf Boldrewood

  • Mrs. Delf was a good sort, but Trevanion used her house regular and spent his money free.


    Rolf Boldrewood

British Dictionary definitions for delf



a town in the SW Netherlands, in South Holland province. Pop: 97 000 (2003 est)
Also called: delftware tin-glazed earthenware made in Delft since the 17th century, typically having blue decoration on a white ground
a similar earthenware made in England
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 delf

late Old English dælf "trench, ditch, quarry," from gedelf "digging, a digging," from delfan "to dig" (see delve).


town in Holland,named from its chief canal, from Dutch delf, literally "ditch, canal;" which is related to Old English dælf and modern delve. As a short form of delftware, attested from 1714.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper