1620s, "molded or formed by art," from Latin fictilis "made of clay, earthen," from fictio "a fashioning or feigning," noun of action from past participle stem of fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign," originally "to knead, form out of clay," from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build." From 1670s as "capable of being molded." From 1854 as "pertaining to pottery." Related: Fictility.
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