- a color having a soft, subdued shade.
- a kind of dried paste made of pigments ground with chalk and compounded with gum water.
- a chalklike crayon made from such paste.
- the art of drawing with such crayons.
- a drawing so made.
- a short, light prose study or sketch.
- having a soft, subdued shade.
- drawn with pastels: a pastel portrait.
Origin of pastel1
- the woad plant.
- the dye made from it.
Origin of pastel2
Examples from the Web for pastel
Contemporary Examples of pastel
The pastel outdoor furnishings look like leftovers from a closed nursery school, while inside collared shirts seem overdressed.Adventures in Miami’s Coolest South Beach Alternative
The Daily Beast
July 10, 2014
Thorns support is for everyone, and there are no pastel colors or condescending cursive.Portland Is Ground Zero for the Best Women’s Soccer in the World
June 30, 2014
Also: pastel pink-and-lavender paint jobs, festooned with hearts and flowers.Why I Finally Let My Girls Be Girly
May 17, 2014
A pastel poster showing a light switch; above the switch is written: “A simple choice: War?”My Walk Through Kiev's Maidan Square
April 6, 2014
This arena broke apart like a huge Ming bowl, done in pastel shades.How to Hide a Famine with Ping-Pong
January 9, 2014
Historical Examples of pastel
This was painted from life in pastel, by William Williams, at Philadelphia in 1794.Washington's Masonic Correspondence
Julius F. Sachse
The tunnel entrance glowed with the pastel radiance from the rocks.The World Beyond
Raymond King Cummings
It was all right if you shut your eyes, for Miriam wasn't what you'd call a pastel.Shorty McCabe
Fields fled beneath them, looking like a crazy-quilt in pastel.Breaking Point
James E. Gunn
A pastel that I have just begun—the portrait of the Princesse de Ponteve.Strong as Death
Guy de Maupassant
- a substance made of ground pigment bound with gum, used for making sticks for drawing
- a crayon of this
- a drawing done in such crayons
- the medium or technique of pastel drawing
- a pale delicate colour
- a light prose work, esp a poetic one
- another name for woad
- (of a colour) pale; delicatepastel blue
Word Origin for pastel
1660s, "crayons, chalk-like pigment used in crayons," from French pastel "crayon," from Italian pastello "a pastel," literally "material reduced to a paste," from Late Latin pastellus "dye from the leaves of the woad plant," diminutive of pasta (see pasta). Meaning "pale or light color" (like that of pastels) first recorded 1899. As an adjective from 1884.