Definition of terra cotta in English:

terra cotta

Syllabification: ter·ra cot·ta
Pronunciation: /ˈterə ˈkätə
(also terracotta)


  • 1Unglazed, typically brownish-red earthenware, used chiefly as an ornamental building material and in modeling.
    More example sentences
    • To the rear of the house is the kitchen/breakfast room, with polished terracotta floor tiles and French doors leading out to a patio.
    • Both unglazed terracotta ware and highly glazed ware crafted there are on sale in the museum foyer and the adjacent conservatory.
    • The artists use materials such as fibreglass, terracotta, oil, acrylic and other mixed media.
  • 1.1A statuette or other object made of terra cotta.
    More example sentences
    • The Archaic period (c. early 6th century - 480 BC) saw a great flowering of Etruscan art with the production of fine tomb paintings, funerary sculptures, and architectural terracottas.
    • And there are some, they continued, that are incredibly important, such as the series of Kwahu funerary terracottas or the 1971 sequence showing the Timi of Ede in Nigeria.
    • Upon entering the dark galleries, one is welcomed by some remarkable exemplars of Nok terracottas and Ife heads on loan from the Nigerian National Museum, Lagos, and the Ife Museum.
  • 1.2A strong brownish-red or brownish-orange color.
    More example sentences
    • They are very strong but not gaudy, colours like terracotta, green and yellow.
    • There are plenty of rich silks and organzas both in bright colours and earthy tones of terracotta, deep burgundy, pewter and slate black.
    • Also at ground level, the living room is decorated in warm terracotta tones and features a beamed ceiling and open brick fireplace.


early 18th century: from Italian terra cotta 'baked earth', from Latin terra cocta.

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