[ pas-pahr-too; French pahs-par-too ]
/ ˌpæs pɑrˈtu; French pɑs parˈtu /

noun, plural passe-par·touts [pas-pahr-tooz; French pahs-par-too] /ˌpæs pɑrˈtuz; French pɑs parˈtu/.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for passe-partout

British Dictionary definitions for passe-partout


/ (ˌpæspɑːˈtuː, French pɑspartu) /


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

Word Origin for passe-partout

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