1. an art or technique of decorating a surface with inlaid patterns, especially of wood mosaic, developed during the Renaissance.
Also tarsia.

Origin of intarsia

1860–65; alteration (influenced by Italian tarsia) of Italian intarsio, derivative of intarsiare to inlay, equivalent to in- in-2 + tarsiare < Arabic tarṣīʿ an inlay, incrustation; see tarsia
Related formsin·tar·si·ate [in-tahr-see-eyt, -it] /ɪnˈtɑr siˌeɪt, -ɪt/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intarsia

Historical Examples of intarsia

  • The painter, the mosaicist, and the designer for intarsia are confused in a similar manner.

    Intarsia and Marquetry

    F. Hamilton Jackson

  • In some of the early Italian "intarsia" the decoration was cut into the surface of the panel piece by piece.

  • The same writer mentions still more elaborate examples of pictorial "intarsia" in the choir stalls of Sta.

  • Of all the examples of pictorial Intarsia the most elaborate are perhaps those in the choir stalls of Sta.

  • The intarsia doors of the palace at Urbino are among the most famous examples of this form of decoration.

British Dictionary definitions for intarsia



  1. a decorative or pictorial mosaic of inlaid wood or sometimes ivory of a style developed in the Italian Renaissance and used esp on wooden wall panels
  2. the art or practice of making such mosaics
  3. (in knitting) an individually worked motif

Word Origin for intarsia

C19: changed from Italian intarsio
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