• synonyms


or ka·o·line

See more synonyms for kaolin on Thesaurus.com
  1. a fine white clay used in the manufacture of porcelain.
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Origin of kaolin

1720–30; < French < Chinese (Wade-Giles) Kao1ling3, (pinyin) Gāolǐng mountain in Jiangxi province that yielded the first kaolin sent to Europe (gāo high + lǐng hill)
Related formska·o·lin·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

mud, brick, earth, pottery, slip, till, adobe, bole, marl, loam, loess, kaolin, argil, wacke

Examples from the Web for kaolin

Historical Examples

  • Besides, was not Kaolin himself the bosom friend of her brother Ludwig?

    Gaspar the Gaucho

    Mayne Reid

  • For is not Kaolin now cacique—he who saved them from death and destruction?

  • And what is this kaolin of which Will had discovered so grand a store?


    George Manville Fenn

  • Kaolin or china clay is usually fine, white, and refractory.

    The Potter's Craft

    Charles F. Binns

  • It is not, therefore, composed simply of kaolin and petuntse.

British Dictionary definitions for kaolin



  1. a fine white clay used for the manufacture of hard-paste porcelain and bone china and in medicine as a poultice and gastrointestinal absorbentAlso called: china clay, china stone
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Derived Formskaolinic, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Chinese Kaoling Chinese mountain where supplies for Europe were first obtained, from kao high + ling hill
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 kaolin


"china clay," 1727, from French kaolin (1712), from Chinese Kao-ling, old-style transliteration of the name of a mountain in Jiangxi, China (near which it was originally dug up), from Chinese gao "high" + ling "mountain, hill."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

kaolin in Medicine


  1. A fine white clay that, when powdered, is used as a demulcent and adsorbent and, in dentistry, as an agent that confers opacity and toughness to porcelain teeth.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.