[ ter-uh-kot-uh ]
/ ˈtɛr əˈkɒt ə /


made of or having the color of terra cotta.


Nearby words

  1. terra firma,
  2. terra incognita,
  3. terra mater,
  4. terra sigillata,
  5. terra verde,
  6. terrace,
  7. terraced,
  8. terraced house,
  9. terrachlor,
  10. terracing

Origin of terra-cotta

First recorded in 1865–70

terra cotta

[ kot-uh ]
/ ˈkɒt ə /


a hard, fired clay, brownish-red in color when unglazed, that is used for architectural ornaments and facings, structural units, pottery, and as a material for sculpture.
something made of terra cotta.
a brownish-orange color like that of unglazed terra cotta.

Origin of terra cotta

1715–25; < Italian: literally, baked earth < Latin terra cōcta

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for terra-cotta

Word Origin and History for terra-cotta



1722, from Italian terra cotta, literally "cooked earth," from terra "earth" (see terrain) + cotta "baked," from Latin cocta, fem. past participle of coquere (see cook (n.)). As a color name for brownish-red, attested from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper