ter·ra cot·ta or ter·ra·cot·ta or ter·ra-cot·ta (tĕrə-kŏtə)
a. A hard semifired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery and building construction.
b. Ceramic wares made of this material.
2. A brownish orange.
[Italian : terra, earth (from Latin; see TERRACE) + cotta, baked, cooked (from Latin cocta, feminine past participle of coquere, to cook; see pekw- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
(click for a larger image)terra cotta
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendicies
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.