or fa·ïence

[fahy-ahns, fey-; French fa-yahns]

Origin of faience

1705–15; < French, orig. pottery of Faenza, city in northern Italy
Can be confusedfiancé fiancée faience
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for faience

Historical Examples of faience

  • Faience, an elegant kind of pottery, attracted his attention.

    Stories of Invention

    Edward E. Hale

  • The word majolica, as now employed, has almost the same meaning as faience.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • Lately the word has been used as almost, if not quite, synonymous with faience.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • Faience was made at the latter place in the beginning of the sixteenth century.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • The earlier wares are illustrated by certain pieces of faience pavement.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

British Dictionary definitions for faience


    1. tin-glazed earthenware, usually that of French, German, Italian, or Scandinavian origin
    2. (as modifier)a faïence cup

Word Origin for faïence

C18: from French, strictly: pottery from Faenza
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 faience

1714, from French faïence (16c.), probably from Fayence, French form of Faenza, city in Italy that was a noted ceramics center 16c. The city name is Latin faventia, literally "silence, meditation," perhaps a reference to a tranquil location.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper