from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Glass colored by mixing pigments inherently in the glass, by fusing colored metallic oxides onto the glass, or by painting and baking transparent colors on the glass surface.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Glass that has been coloured, either by painting or by fusing pigments into its structure.
  • noun architecture The use of such glass to construct decorative windows, especially in churches.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun glass that has been colored in some way; used for church windows


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  • The first recorded use of the term is from Mrs Radcliffe's Romance of the Forest (1791):

    Above the vast and magnificent portal of this gate arose a window of the same order, whose pointed arches still exhibited fragments of stained glass, once the pride of monkish devotion.

    This clearly can't be the first occurrence; but anyway, what did they call it for centuries before that?

    October 7, 2010