Definition of kaolin in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkāələn/


A fine, soft white clay, resulting from the natural decomposition of other clays or feldspar. It is used for making porcelain and china, as a filler in paper and textiles, and in medicinal absorbents. Also called china clay.
Example sentences
  • Surprisingly, many of these are inorganic minerals; for example talc and kaolin or china clay.
  • The white kaolin clay has extra fine particles that simultaneously thwart insects and act as an alkaline barrier to fungal spores.
  • But the fine, white clay called kaolin was essential.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnīz/
Example sentences
  • No shell material has been found, which in view of the highly kaolinized, tropically weathered nature of the matrix is not surprising.
  • The material has been highly kaolinized, with no original shell material preserved.
  • Some of the feldspars are altered to the pale-greenish or whitish kaolinized and sericitized stage.


Early 18th century: from French, from Chinese gāolǐng, literally 'high hill', the name of a mountain in Jiangxi province where the clay is found.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ka·o·lin

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.