[ plas-ter, plah-ster ]
See synonyms for plaster on
  1. a composition, as of lime or gypsum, sand, water, and sometimes hair or other fiber, applied in a pasty form to walls, ceilings, etc., and allowed to harden and dry.

  2. powdered gypsum.

  1. a solid or semisolid preparation spread upon cloth, plastic, or other material and applied to the body, especially for some healing purpose.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cover (walls, ceilings, etc.) with plaster.

  2. to treat with gypsum or plaster of Paris.

  1. to lay flat like a layer of plaster.

  2. to daub or fill with plaster or something similar.

  3. to apply a plaster to (the body, a wound, etc.).

  4. to overspread with something, especially thickly or excessively: a wall plastered with posters.

  5. Informal.

    • to defeat decisively; trounce; drub.

    • to knock down or injure, as by a blow or beating.

    • to inflict serious damage or injury on by heavy bombing, shelling, or other means of attack.

Origin of plaster

First recorded before 1000; Middle English, Old English, from Medieval Latin plastrum “plaster” (both medical and building senses), aphetic variant of Latin emplastrum, from Greek émplastron “salve,” alteration of émplaston, neuter of émplastos “daubed”; see em-2, -plast
  • Also Archaic, plais·ter [pley-ster] /ˈpleɪ stər/ .

Other words from plaster

  • plas·ter·er, noun
  • plas·ter·i·ness, noun
  • plas·ter·like, plas·ter·y, adjective
  • re·plas·ter, verb (used with object)
  • un·plas·ter, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use plaster in a sentence

  • "This house that you are living in belongs to Mucius Scaevola, the plasterer on the first floor," he said.

    An Episode Under the Terror | Honore de Balzac
  • Josh, the subject of Mr. Leckler's charitable solicitations, was the plantation plasterer.

  • Even Mr. Leckler, who had great faith in his plasterer's ability, marveled at the speed which he had acquired the three R's.

  • The ceiling looks in many places as smooth and white as though it had been under the trowel of the most skilful plasterer.

  • With the compassion of a kindly man in a plasterer's spattered suit of white, we did what we could, but it was very little.

    London Films | William Dean Howells

British Dictionary definitions for plaster


/ (ˈplɑːstə) /

  1. a mixture of lime, sand, and water, sometimes stiffened with hair or other fibres, that is applied to the surface of a wall or ceiling as a soft paste that hardens when dry

  2. British, Australian and NZ an adhesive strip of material, usually medicated, for dressing a cut, wound, etc

  1. to coat (a wall, ceiling, etc) with plaster

  2. (tr) to apply like plaster: she plastered make-up on her face

  1. (tr) to cause to lie flat or to adhere

  2. (tr) to apply a plaster cast to

  3. (tr) slang to strike or defeat with great force

Origin of plaster

Old English, from Medieval Latin plastrum medicinal salve, building plaster, via Latin from Greek emplastron curative dressing, from em- + plassein to form

Derived forms of plaster

  • plasterer, noun
  • plastery, adjective

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