pastel

1
[ pa-stel; especially British pas-tl ]
/ pæˈstɛl; especially British ˈpæs tl /

noun

adjective

having a soft, subdued shade.
drawn with pastels: a pastel portrait.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. paste mold,
  2. paste-on,
  3. paste-up,
  4. pasteboard,
  5. pastedown,
  6. pastel orange,
  7. pastelist,
  8. paster,
  9. pastern,
  10. pasternak

Origin of pastel

1
1655–65; < French < Italian pastello < Late Latin pastellus, variant of Latin pastillus (see pastille)

pastel

2
[ pas-tel ]
/ ˈpæs tɛl /

noun

the woad plant.
the dye made from it.

Origin of pastel

2
1570–80; < Middle French < Provençal < Medieval Latin pastellum (neuter) woad (orig. woad paste), for Late Latin pastellus (masculine), diminutive of pasta paste; change of gender by influence of Latin glastum woad

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

Examples from the Web for pastel


British Dictionary definitions for pastel

pastel

/ (ˈpæstəl, pæˈstɛl) /

noun

  1. a substance made of ground pigment bound with gum, used for making sticks for drawing
  2. a crayon of this
  3. 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

adjective

(of a colour) pale; delicatepastel blue
Derived Formspastelist or pastellist, noun

Word Origin for pastel

C17: via French from Italian pastello, from Late Latin pastellus woad compounded into a paste, diminutive of pasta paste 1

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 pastel

pastel

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper