• synonyms


  1. earthenware having an opaque white glaze with an overglaze decoration, usually in blue.
  2. any pottery resembling this.
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Also delf [delf] /dɛlf/.

Origin of delft

First recorded in 1705–15; after Delft
Also called delft ware.


  1. a city in W Netherlands.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for delft

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper