One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Made of earth or clay by a potter.
pliable, pliant, flexible, supple, plastic, tensile, tractileView synonyms
- ‘A labourer at Ateste, near Padua, in Italy, found a sepulchre, in which was a fictile urn, and within it there stood another urn, and in this smaller one.’
- ‘In the annexed woodcut, the female figure in the middle is copied from a fictile vase.’
- 1.1 Relating to pottery or its manufacture.
- ‘Fragments of rude pottery, composed of a mixture of clay and gravel, and imperfectly burnt, are indications that in fictile work the primitive dwellers on the shores of Lake Deschênes had mastered the initial stages in the manufacture of domestic utensils.’
- ‘Apart, therefore, from the exquisite beauty of many remains of fictile art, which confers on them a high intrinsic value, the works of the potter have been minutely studied by the archaeologist.’
Early 17th century: from Latin fictilis, from fict- ‘formed, contrived’, from the verb fingere.
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