or bis·ter

[ bis-ter ]
/ ˈbɪs tər /


a brown pigment extracted from the soot of wood, often used in pen and wash drawings.
a yellowish to dark-brown color.

Origin of bistre

1720–30; < French, Middle French, of obscure origin
Related formsbis·tred, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bistre

British Dictionary definitions for bistre


US bister

/ (ˈbɪstə) /


a transparent water-soluble brownish-yellow pigment made by boiling the soot of wood, used for pen and wash drawings
  1. a yellowish-brown to dark brown colour
  2. (as modifier)bistre paint

Word Origin for bistre

C18: from French, of unknown origin
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