Dictionary: POR-CE-LAIN – PO'ROUS-LY

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POR-CE-LAIN, n. [Sp. and Port. porcelana; It. porcellana, signifying porcelain and purslain, a plant; Fr. porcelaine, porcelain, the sea-snail, the purple fish, and purslain; Arm. pourcelinnen. Our purslain is doubtless from the Latin portulaca, as Pliny writes it, or porculata, as others write it. But I know not the reason of the name.]

  1. The finest species of earthen ware, originally manufactured in China and Japan, but now made in several European countries. All earthen wares which are white and semi-transparent, are called porcelains, but they differ much in their fineness and beauty. The porcelain of China is said to be made of two species of earth, the petuntse, which is fusible, and the kaolin, which is not fusible, or not with the degree of heat which fuses the petuntse, and that in porcelain the substances are only semi-vitrified, or one substance only is vitrified, the other not. Hence it is concluded that porcelain is an intermediate substance between earth and glass. Hence the second degree of fusibility, of which emollescence is the first, is called by Kirwan the porcelain state. – Dict. Nat. Hist. Nicholson. Kirwan. Encyc.
  2. The plant called purslain, – which see. – Ainsworth.

POR-CEL-LA'NE-OUS, a. [from porcelain.]

Pertaining to or resembling porcelain; as, porcellaneous shells. Hatchett.


A silicious mineral, a species of jasper, of various colors. It seems to be formed accidentally in coal mines which have indurated and semi-vitrified beds of coal-shale or slate-clay. It is sometimes marked with vegetable impressions of a brick red color. – Kirwan, from Peithner. Cyc. Cleaveland.

PORCH, n. [Fr. porche, from L. porticus, from porta, a gate, entrance or passage, or from portus, a shelter.]

  1. In architecture, a kind of vestibule supported by columns at the entrance of temples, halls, churches or other buildings. – Encyc.
  2. A portico; a covered walk.
  3. By way of distinction, the porch, was a public portico in Athens, where Zeno, the philosopher, taught his disciples. It was called ποικιλη, the painted porch, from the pictures of Polygnotus and other eminent painters, with which it was adorned. Hence, the Porch is equivalent to the school of the Stoics. – Enfield.

POR'CINE, a. [L. porcinus, from porcus. See Pork.]

Pertaining to swine; as, the porcine species of animals. – Gregory.

POR'CU-PINE, n. [It. porco-spinoso, the spinous hog or spine-hog; L. porcus, W. porc, a pig, and L. spina, a spine or thorn. So in French, porc-epic, the spike-hog; Sp. puerco-espin; Port. porco-espinho; D. yzervarken, iron-hog; G. stachelschwein, thorn-swine; Sw. pinsvin, Dan. pindsviin, pin-swine.]

In zoology, a quadruped of the genus Hystrix. The crested porcupine has a body about two feet in length, four toes on each of the fore feet, and five on each of the hind feet, a crested head, a short tail, and the upper lip divided like that of the hare. The body is covered with prickles which are very sharp, and some of them nine or ten inches long; these he can erect at pleasure. When attacked, he rolls his body into a round form, in which position the prickles are presented in every direction to the enemy. This species is a native of Africa and Asia. – Encyc.


A fish which is covered with spines or prickles. It is the Diodon hystrix, and about fourteen inches in length. – Dict. Nat. Hist.

PORE, n. [Fr. pore; Sp. and It. poro; Gr. πορος, from the root of πορευομαι, to go, to pass, Sax. faran, Eng. to fare. See Fare. The word then signifies a passage.]

  1. In anatomy, a minute interstice in the skin of an animal, through which the perspirable matter passes to the surface or is excreted.
  2. A small spiracle, opening or passage in other substances; as, the pores of plants or of stones. – Quincy. Dryden.

PORE, v.i. [Qu. Gr. εφορω, εφοραω, to inspect. In Sp. porrear is to dwell long on, to persist importunately; porro, dull; W. para, to continue, to persevere.]

To look with steady continued attention or application. To pore on, is to read or examine with steady perseverance, to dwell on; and the word seems to be limited in its application to the slow patient reading or examination of bowls, or something written or engraved. Painfully to pore upon a book. – Shak. With sharpened sight pale antiquaries pore. – Pope.

PORE-BLIND, or PUR'BLIND, a. [Qu. Gr. πωρος.]

Near-sighted; short-sighted. – Bacon.

POR-ER, n.

One who pores or studies diligently. – Temple.


A coarse kind of India silk.

POR'GY, n.

A fish of the gilt-head kind.

POR-I-NESS, n. [from pory.]

The state of being pory or having numerous pores. – Wiseman.

PO'RISM, n. [Gr. πορισμος, acquisition, from ποριζω, to gain, from πορος, a passing; πορευομαι, to pass.]

In geometry, a name given by ancient geometers to two classes of propositions. Euclid gave this name to propositions involved in others which he was investigating, and obtained without a direct view to their discovery. These he called acquisitions, but such propositions are now called corollaries. A porism is defined, “a proposition affirming the possibility of finding such conditions as will render a certain problem indeterminate or capable of innumerable solutions.” It is not a theorem, nor a problem, or rather it includes both. It asserts that a certain problem may become indeterminate, and so far it partakes of the nature of a theorem, and in seeking to discover the conditions by which this may be effected, it partakes of the nature of a problem. – Encyc.


Pertaining to a porism; seeking to determine by what means and in how many ways a problem may be solved.

PO'RITE, n. [plur. Porites.]

A petrified madrepore. – Dict. Nat. Hist.

PORK, n. [L. porcus, a hog or pig; Fr. porc; W. porç; Arm. porcq, porchell. Qu. from the shape of his back, L. porca, a ridge; or from his snout and rooting. In Sax. berga is a barrow.]

The flesh of swine, fresh or salted, used for food.


One that feeds on swine's flesh. – Shak.


A hog; a pig. [Not used in America.] – Pope.


A young hog. – Dryden.


A pig. – Tusser.

PO-ROS'I-TY, n. [from porous.]

The quality or state of having pores or interstices. – Bacon.

PO'ROUS, a. [from pore.]

Having interstices in the skin or substance of the body; having spiracles or passages for fluids; as, a porous skin; porous wood; porous earth. – Milton. Chapman.

PO'ROUS-LY, adv.

In a porous manner.