Meaning of intarsia in English:


Pronunciation /ɪnˈtɑːsɪə/


  • 1mass noun, often as modifier A method of knitting with a number of colours, in which a separate length or ball of yarn is used for each area of colour (as opposed to different yarns being carried at the back of the work)

    ‘an intarsia design’
    • ‘Individual colours can be tinted to order and various intarsia designs can be milled onto the Durat surface.’
    • ‘Printed knits with vintage flora, graphic symbols, and graffiti will stand alongside true intarsia rose knits.’
    • ‘The Animal Knits book has some great intarsia patterns for kids sweaters/blankets, etc.’
    • ‘I don't have any pictures of that to show today, but thought you might like a glimpse of the fairisle intarsia bag that I've completed recently.’
    • ‘They were left over from an intarsia project and are both untouched, full skeins.’
  • 2mass noun, often as modifier An elaborate form of marquetry using inlays in wood, especially as practised in 15th-century Italy.

    ‘The intricate intarsia (inlaid wood decoration) of the studiolo also illustrates how innovative art of the period required the purchasing power and political authority of influential patronage.’
    • ‘This includes cottage crafts, intarsia woodwork, beautiful lampshades, jewellery, embroidery, candlewicking and heaps more.’
    • ‘The carved chests and the intarsia tables could not be found in the miserable huts of the poorer strata.’
    • ‘The intarsia panels of this door, created between 1476 and 1481, depict two other Famous Men, Dante and Petrarch, indicating that the main themes of the decoration were already established by 1476.’
    1. 2.1Inlaid work similar to intarsia but in stone, metal, or glass rather than wood.
      ‘Here the detailing was fine and at the corners inlaid with an intarsia of different obsidians polished smooth.’
      • ‘In the 1480s he was involved in a variety of commissions, including a design for an intarsia pavement and the execution of the monument to Bishop Piccolomini, both in Siena Cathedral.’
      • ‘The candy-striped Duomo must be the only Christian church anywhere to host - on the intarsia marble floor - a portrait of that old neo-Platonic magus, Hermes Trismegistus.’
      inset, set, enchased, ornamented, decorated, studded, lined, panelled, tiled


From Italian intarsio; in intarsia (sense 2) superseding earlier tarsia (from Italian, ‘marquetry’); the knitting term dates from the mid 19th century.