[plas-ter, plah-ster]
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.
powdered gypsum.
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)
to cover (walls, ceilings, etc.) with plaster.
to treat with gypsum or plaster of Paris.
to lay flat like a layer of plaster.
to daub or fill with plaster or something similar.
to apply a plaster to (the body, a wound, etc.).
to overspread with something, especially thickly or excessively: a wall plastered with posters.
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.

before 1000; Middle English, Old English < Medieval Latin plastrum plaster (both medical and building senses), aphetic variant of Latin emplastrum < Greek émplastron salve, alteration of émplaston, neuter of émplastos daubed; see em-2, -plast

plasterer, noun
plasteriness, noun
plasterlike, plastery, adjective
replaster, verb (used with object)
unplaster, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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.  (Brit), (Austral), (NZ) an adhesive strip of material, usually medicated, for dressing a cut, wound, etc
3.  mustard plaster short for plaster of Paris
4.  to coat (a wall, ceiling, etc) with plaster
5.  (tr) to apply like plaster: she plastered make-up on her face
6.  (tr) to cause to lie flat or to adhere
7.  (tr) to apply a plaster cast to
8.  slang (tr) to strike or defeat with great force
[Old English, from Medieval Latin plastrum medicinal salve, building plaster, via Latin from Greek emplastron curative dressing, from em- + plassein to form]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. plaster "medicinal application," from V.L. plastrum, shortened from L. emplastra "a plaster" (in both the medical and building senses), from Gk. emplastron "salve, plaster" (used by Galen instead of more usual emplaston), from neut. of emplastos "daubed on," from en- "on" + plastos "molded," from
plassein "to mold" (see plasma). The building sense is first recorded in Eng. c.1300, via O.Fr. plastre. Meaning "to bomb (a target) heavily" is first recorded 1915. Plaster of Paris (c.1462) originally was made from the extensive gypsum deposits of Montmartre in Paris. Plastered "drunk" is attested from 1912, perhaps from plaster in sense of "to apply a remedy to, to soothe," hence "to give compensation" (1891).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

plaster plas·ter (plās'tər)

  1. Plaster of Paris.

  2. A pastelike mixture applied to a part of the body for healing or cosmetic purposes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a pasty composition (as of lime or gypsum, water, and sand) that hardens on drying and is used for coating walls, ceilings, and partitions

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Tinted plaster lends a lush brown suede effect to the entry walls,
  transitioning to a gray-blue hue on the ceiling.
To maintain the integrity of the house, the owners had the walls repaired with
  plaster, not drywall.
Clay plaster on two walls adds a delicate contrast to concrete and redwood
It was thrown up quickly in little more than a year, and many of the buildings
  were made with a mixture of hemp and plaster.
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