or ka·o·line

[ key-uh-lin ]
/ ˈkeɪ ə lɪn /


a fine white clay used in the manufacture of porcelain.

Nearby words

  1. kao tsu,
  2. kao-tsu,
  3. kaohsiung,
  4. kaolack,
  5. kaoliang,
  6. kaolinite,
  7. kaolinize,
  8. kaolinosis,
  9. kaon,
  10. kapa haka

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for kaolin

British Dictionary definitions for kaolin



/ (ˈkeɪəlɪn) /


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
Derived Formskaolinic, adjective

Word Origin for kaolin

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for kaolin


[ kāə-lĭn ]


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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.