[ jes-oh ]

noun,plural ges·soes.
  1. gypsum or plaster of Paris prepared with glue for use as a surface for painting.

  2. any plasterlike preparation to prepare a surface for painting, gilding, etc.

  1. a prepared surface of plaster or plasterlike material for painting, gilding, etc.

Origin of gesso

1590–1600; <Italian <Latin gypsumgypsum

Words Nearby gesso Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gesso in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gesso


/ (ˈdʒɛsəʊ) /

  1. a white ground of plaster and size, used esp in the Middle Ages and Renaissance to prepare panels or canvas for painting or gilding

  2. any white substance, esp plaster of Paris, that forms a ground when mixed with water

Origin of gesso

C16: from Italian: chalk, gypsum

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