terra cotta



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. 2019

Related Words for terracotta

wares, fawn, ginger, tan, toast, amber, brick, nut, buff, coffee, drab, dust, bronze, bay, ecru, beige, rust, copper, cinnamon, russet

Examples from the Web for terracotta

Contemporary Examples of terracotta

Historical Examples of terracotta

British Dictionary definitions for terracotta



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

Word Origin for terracotta

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



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