Definition of ormolu in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôrməˌlo͞o/


A gold-colored alloy of copper, zinc, and sometimes tin, cast into desired shapes and often gilded, used especially in the 18th century for decorating furniture and making ornaments.
Example sentences
  • There is also a correlation between art brass and the traditional use of ormolu in French interiors.
  • He checked the time by his watch, then reset the ormolu clock on the desk, which had lost two minutes during the night.
  • Needless to say, the ormolu retains its original gilding, and the Blue John body is richly hued and striated.


Mid 18th century: from French or moulu 'powdered gold' (used in gilding).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: or·mo·lu

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