Definition of kaolin
- a fine, soft white clay, resulting from the natural decomposition of other clays or feldspar. It is used for making porcelain and china, as a filler in paper and textiles, and in medicinal absorbents. Also called china clay.
early 18th century: from French, from Chinese gāolǐng, literally 'high hill', the name of a mountain in Jiangxi province where the clay is found