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.




a city in W Netherlands. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for delft

Contemporary Examples of delft

  • Gerard ter Borch made headlines, while his rival in Delft was painting maids with earrings.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Better Than Vermeer

    Blake Gopnik

    November 18, 2013

Historical Examples of delft

  • The manufacture of delft ware was known to have greatly enriched Holland.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Here and there was an Italian cabinet surmounted with Delft, and here and there a bas-relief.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • So he took out enough to pay for uncle George and me to go to Delft.

    Rollo in Holland

    Jacob Abbott

  • Between Schiedam and Delft I observed the windmills with great attention.

    Holland, v. 1 (of 2)

    Edmondo de Amicis

  • Disaster had attended the dash of the Sans-Pareil upon the Delft.

British Dictionary definitions for delft



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 delft


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