- 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
- made of or having the color of terra cotta.
Origin of terra-cotta
First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for terracotta
He went so far as to have rivers of mercury set up in his tomb, along with his famous thousand-soldier strong Terracotta Army.This Exhibit Could Kill You: The Museum of Natural History Takes on Poison
January 8, 2014
The Daily Pic: China's terracotta army was built for fighting, not for looking at.To Serve and Protect
September 27, 2012
The gargoyles also, which later were always of stone, were originally of terracotta.
On one side of the fountain a semicircular bench of tuff and terracotta.Mogens and Other Stories
Jens Peter Jacobsen
Originally it had been a villa residence—a red-brick villa, covered with creepers and crowned with terracotta dragons.
He looked at the bow-windows, the cheap picturesque gables, the terracotta dragons clawing a dirty sky.
It seems surprising that such a terracotta sheathing should be applied on a structure of stone.
- a hard unglazed brownish-red earthenware, or the clay from which it is made
- something made of terracotta, such as a sculpture
- a strong reddish-brown to brownish-orange colour
- made of terracottaa terracotta urn
- of the colour terracottaa terracotta carpet
C18: from Italian, literally: baked earth
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 terracotta
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper