1. Any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature.
a. An object, such as earthenware, porcelain, or tile, made of ceramic.
b. ceramics (used with a sing. verb) The art or technique of making objects of ceramic, especially from fired clay.
[From Greek keramikos, of pottery, from keramos, potter's clay; see ker-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.