[pas-pahr-too; French pahs-par-too]
- something that passes everywhere or provides a universal means of passage.
- a master key; skeleton key.
- an ornamental mat for a picture.
- a method of framing in which a piece of glass is placed over a picture and is affixed to a backing by means of adhesive strips of paper or other material pasted over the edges.
- paper prepared for this purpose.
Origin of passe-partout
1635–45; < French: literally, (it) passes everywhere
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for passe-partout
So if it wasn't a passe-partout, it was non-suited, quoad existence.A Likely Story
William De Morgan
When the sections are finished, fasten them together with the passe-partout paper.
It was from Goethe; it was lettered in old German characters, framed in passe-partout, and hung above the mantel.The Barrier</p>
Book-cloth or any firm material can be used instead of the passe-partout paper.
"Here's the Little Colonel's corner," said Mary, leading him to a group of large photographs framed in passe-partout.The Little Colonel in Arizona
Annie Fellows Johnston
- a mounting for a picture in which strips of strong gummed paper are used to bind together the glass, picture, and backing
- the gummed paper used for this
- a mat, often decorated, on which a picture is mounted
- something that secures entry everywhere, esp a master key
C17: from French, literally: pass everywhere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for passe-partout
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper