Definition of pottery in English:



  • 1mass noun Pots, dishes, and other articles made of fired clay. Pottery can be broadly divided into earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware.

    ‘an extensive collection of nineteenth-century pottery’
    • ‘There was exquisite pottery, clay figurines and animals, beads of lapis lazuli, silver and shell, as well as the usual weights and seals.’
    • ‘The burglars escaped with a hoard of limited edition bone china, porcelain and pottery collectables leaving behind only muddy footprints.’
    • ‘Few pieces of Chinese porcelain or pottery made prior to the 14th century bear reign marks and those that do should be viewed with suspicion.’
    • ‘She argues that rice husks used to temper clay pottery at Koldihawa and Mahagara sites indicate that a domesticated rice was grown at that time.’
    • ‘Antique cups of pottery and earthenware are also occasionally found.’
    • ‘Historically ceramics production was widely dispersed, its main branches being brick and tile, pottery and porcelain manufacture.’
    • ‘After that I started collecting pottery and porcelain and then started selling it.’
    • ‘The Japanese use the word yaki for porcelain, pottery and earthenware alike.’
    • ‘With collectable pottery and porcelain, the rare and the wonderful remain expensive.’
    • ‘There are pots and pans to hand-built pieces and sculptures in stoneware pottery.’
    • ‘In porcelain and pottery, connoisseurship was in its infancy, as can be seen by publications of the time.’
    • ‘Things materialize from the sand upon occasion - a tool, a hasp, a leg-bone from someone long gone to God, pottery from local clay.’
    • ‘The dishes may be round or rectangular and are made of pottery, porcelain, or decorated lacquer.’
    • ‘They specialise in hand-make stoneware pottery that is both attractive and useful.’
    • ‘Satsuma ware is something between porcelain and pottery.’
    • ‘These rooms contain tens of thousands of clay pots, pottery shards, copper and bronze weapons, tools and statuettes.’
    • ‘The long-established Sitiwinangun earthenware pottery, locally known as gerabah, is dominated by the color maroon.’
    • ‘It consisted of delicately inlaying colored clays into white bodied pottery.’
    • ‘Such scenes were greatly appealing to pottery and porcelain manufacturers, giving a range of products a particularly strong sales boost.’
    • ‘The experience of molding clay sculpture and pottery is one that is usually remembered by the child and treasured for life.’
    china, crockery, ceramics, ware
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The craft or profession of making pottery.
      ‘courses include drawing, painting, and pottery’
      • ‘There are opportunities for people to use their creative abilities in fine dancing, needlework, illumination, and other crafts such as pottery.’
      • ‘One of the ways the organisation works to keep children off the street is by getting them involved in arts and crafts, like pottery and printing.’
      • ‘The chief Bemba crafts are pottery and baskets.’
      • ‘Visitors can also get a ‘hands-on’ experience of the beautiful crafts like pottery or weaving.’
      • ‘Vilasini, 23, lives in Bangalore, India and enjoys painting and pottery.’
      • ‘In addition to pottery, other crafts are embroidery and the production of leather goods such as belts and purses.’
      • ‘And these camps are conducted for all kinds of skills and activities such as pottery, arts and crafts, and personality development.’
      • ‘Scottish crafts such as pottery, hand-knitting, jewelry-making, and weaving are widely practiced.’
      • ‘Among the activities will be pottery, arts and crafts, dancing, film making and Information Technology work.’
      • ‘Traditional Dutch crafts include pottery, tile work, glassware, and silver.’
      • ‘After graduating from Indiana University, she returned to Italy to study pottery at a professional ceramic trade school in Faenza.’
      • ‘Embroidery, used to decorate the place mats, was combined with other traditional crafts, including pottery and china painting.’
      • ‘The concept of folk art not only included fine art, but referred mainly to arts and crafts such as pottery or textile works.’
      • ‘It has made a remarkable contribution to the arts in Australia, in painting and pottery, sculpture, architecture, and literature.’
      • ‘Interpretation centres, an ecology centre, a community hall for traditional art and drama, pottery and a craft museum.’
      • ‘Activities will include arts and crafts, pottery, cooking, music and movement, drama, dancing, outdoor games and lots more fun activities.’
      • ‘You'll be able to learn about crafts from scrapbooking to pottery in the demonstrations.’
      • ‘Fulani men are less involved in the production of crafts such as pottery, iron-working, and dyeing than some neighboring peoples.’
      • ‘This Amerindian descent is still evident in the northern countryside where pottery and other Indian crafts are made with traditional methods.’
      • ‘Most will offer non-traditional classes such as painting or pottery.’
  • 2A factory or workshop where pottery is made.

    ‘a visit to a Staffordshire pottery’
    • ‘The deposit consists of many thousands of waste pieces from the Isleworth Pottery - one of London's four major potteries at the time.’
    • ‘In spite of the protective tariff levied on imported decorated ceramic wares, many American art potteries were unable to survive the influx of foreign wares.’
    • ‘It beggars belief that children who live on the edge of one of the greatest potteries in the world should have to resort to a third world immigrant teacher to learn about pottery.’
    • ‘Her Chateau de Bellevue was on the edge of the Meudon Forest, with a long view of the Seine Valley down to Paris, and with the Sevres potteries tucked under the escarpment.’
    • ‘The nearby Jingdezhen potteries used the kaolin to create their fine white porcelain.’
    • ‘Studies of ceramics and other commodities show a substantial drop in imports and dominance of markets by such British centres of production as the Oxfordshire potteries.’
    • ‘A former art school student and classically-trained sculpture, Dave's studies took him to Grimsby, Harrow, and Staffordshire potteries.’
    • ‘The quieter elegance of the neoclassical style achieved a cameo-like effect which was finally translated into ‘jasper’ and ‘Basalt’ in the Wedgwood potteries.’
    • ‘There was a time I was on the phone to the potteries in Stoke every hour about these tiles.’
    • ‘Then she headed off to New Zealand and Australia to work in potteries.’
    • ‘This was curtailed by persistent headaches, and upon leaving he worked for the two years to 1791 in his father's potteries.’
    • ‘A critical juncture in his career was a four-month visit to Japan in 1876 and 1877, where he was able to tour potteries and religious sites that few Westerners had visited.’
    • ‘For the past two hundred years scholars have been engaged in matching the maker's marks on objects to the potteries and estimating dates of manufacture.’
    • ‘Dresser went to every part of that still mysterious country, visiting potteries, workers in wood and metal, artists, temples and the Emperor Meiji himself.’
    • ‘Around 1770 there were five thousand workers employed in the potteries of England and Wales.’
    • ‘In 1900 people were working in Hobsonville, in the potteries there.’
    • ‘The patronage of a daimyo allowed the potteries to aim for the highest quality without regard to cost.’
    • ‘These were common to potteries in the Deep South and are notable for the variety of colors they produced, from yellow and green to reddish and dark brown.’
    • ‘The production of commercial tableware began in the late 1800s, and by 1920 potteries had perfected a vitrified china which would not chip or stain in heavy use.’
    • ‘No reference to any uphill traffic has been found, though return loads may have been consumables for the brickfields, potteries and coal mines.’
    1. 2.1 The area around Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, where the English pottery industry is based.
      • ‘This book shows how the Potteries became such a remarkable place and illustrates the traditional skills of the potters.’
      • ‘This was the first really large factory in the Potteries.’


Middle English: from Old French poterie, from potier ‘a potter’.