Definition of mother-of-pearl in English:



mass noun
  • A smooth shining iridescent substance forming the inner layer of the shell of some molluscs, especially oysters and abalones, used in ornamentation.

    ‘mother-of-pearl buttons’
    • ‘‘They have used some beautiful mother-of-pearl and glass buttons for men's coats and waistcoats,’ said Lucy.’
    • ‘Dinner tables were embellished with armorial silver and porcelain, gaming tables used mother-of-pearl gaming counters bearing coats of arms, while libraries were filled with rare volumes containing armorial bookplates.’
    • ‘During the 1630s and 1640s, the decoration of export lacquer became lighter and more pictorial, and the use of mother-of-pearl gradually disappeared.’
    • ‘Pearls were harvested for their high value and pearlshell was used commercially for button-making and for mother-of-pearl.’
    • ‘They supplied buttons for all of Madonna's costumes in Evita, including special diamanté and pre-war mother-of-pearl buttons.’
    • ‘The red cloth was then edged with rows of iridescent mother-of-pearl buttons.’
    • ‘From your photography, it is clear that your mother-of-pearl earrings correspond to other known examples of Martha Washington's pearl jewelry, some of which is in our collection.’
    • ‘Early fish knives had ivory or mother-of-pearl handles with silver blades of unique shapes.’
    • ‘The red abalone, a seaweed-eating snail prized as a source of mother-of-pearl jewelry, is found off the coast of California.’
    • ‘They often had tortoiseshell veneer and ivory and mother-of-pearl inlays.’
    • ‘Some pieces are simply painted repeatedly until the high glossy shine is achieved, while others are crafted with an intricate design, sometimes using thin gold leaf or mother-of-pearl.’
    • ‘The restaurant has heavy starched white linen tablecloths and huge antique Siamese chairs with mother-of-pearl inlaid backs.’
    • ‘And I have no idea what happened to his pretty little mother-of-pearl handled knife.’
    • ‘Another category of vessels and flatware was distinguished by the use of precious stones or exotic materials, such as coral, mother-of-pearl, or coconut shell.’
    • ‘Gleaming, iridescent mother-of-pearl possesses more than beauty.’
    • ‘The furniture makers in and around the city of Trapani often used blackened pearwood instead of ebony, and much mother-of-pearl and coral, for which Trapani was famous.’
    • ‘She had on a pearl necklace and clam-shaped mother-of-pearl earrings.’
    • ‘Utensils can be made of mother-of-pearl, bone, enamel, or even plastic.’
    • ‘It was completely black with mother-of-pearl buttons.’
    • ‘Makers created presentation models crafted from expensive woods with carved elements and inlays of mother-of-pearl or ivory.’