[muh-jol-i-kuh, muh-yol-]


Italian earthenware covered with an opaque glaze of tin oxide and usually highly decorated.
any earthenware having an opaque glaze of tin oxide.

Also maiolica.

Origin of majolica

1545–55; ear-lier maiolica < Italian < Medieval Latin, variant of Late Latin Mājorica Majorca, where it was made Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for majolica

Historical Examples of majolica

  • Only the majolica plate—and that is so firmly set in the wall.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • First Room contains a collection of majolica from the Cini family.

    Rambles in Rome

    S. Russell Forbes

  • The majolica of Florence, if such were ever made, is now unknown.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • Some majolica vases, with coiled snake handles, were very creditable.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • The Rimini majolica is chiefly remarkable for its wonderful glaze.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

British Dictionary definitions for majolica




a type of porous pottery glazed with bright metallic oxides that was originally imported into Italy via Majorca and was extensively made in Italy during the Renaissance

Word Origin for majolica

C16: from Italian, from Late Latin Mājorica Majorca
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 majolica

Italian glazed pottery, 1550s, from Italian Majolica, 14c. name of island now known as Majorca in the Balearics, from Latin maior (see major (adj.)); so called because it is the largest of the three islands. The best pottery of this type was said to have been made there.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper