any of various alloys in which tin is the chief constituent, originally one of tin and lead.
a container or utensil made of such an alloy.
such utensils collectively: a revival of interest in pewter.
British Slang.
  1. a cup awarded as a prize or trophy, as in a sporting event.
  2. prize money(def 2).


consisting or made of pewter: a pewter mug.

Origin of pewter

1325–75; Middle English pewtre < Middle French peutre < Vulgar Latin *piltrum; perhaps akin to spelter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pewter

lead, galena, plumbic, plumbiferous, plumbous, ashen, drab, dull, gray, pale

Examples from the Web for pewter

Contemporary Examples of pewter

Historical Examples of pewter

  • Some threw their silver and pewter ware and other valuables into wells.

  • Most of these were made of pewter or lead, but some have been found of silver gilt, latten, and tin.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • Some poor parishes were obliged to content themselves with pewter vessels.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • Mind as you're not ower keen at seein' the ins and oots o' that pewter.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Richard reached for his pewter, glad that the test was to be so light.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for pewter



  1. any of various alloys containing tin (80–90 per cent), lead (10–20 per cent), and sometimes small amounts of other metals, such as copper and antimony
  2. (as modifier)pewter ware; a pewter tankard
  1. a bluish-grey colour
  2. (as adjective)pewter tights
plate or kitchen utensils made from pewter
Derived Formspewterer, noun

Word Origin for pewter

C14: from Old French peaultre, of obscure origin; related to Old Provençal peltre pewter
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 pewter

early 14c., "any of various alloys having tin as their main constituent" (the usual form is one part lead to four parts tin), from Old French peautre (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *peltrum "pewter" (source of Spanish peltre, Italian peltro), of uncertain origin. Related: Pewterer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper