1550s, "decorative enameled pottery," especially that of 15c.-17c. Italy, from Italian Majolica, 14c. name of island now known as Majorca in the Balearics. So called because the best pottery of this type was said to have been made there. Since 19c. the name has been applied to a kind of glazed ware which imitates it in intensity of color.
updated on November 05, 2018