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bistre

[bis-ter] /ˈbɪs tər/
noun
1.
a brown pigment extracted from the soot of wood, often used in pen and wash drawings.
2.
a yellowish to dark-brown color.
Also, bister.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < French, Middle French, of obscure origin
Related forms
bistred, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bistre

bistre

/ˈbɪstə/
noun
1.
a transparent water-soluble brownish-yellow pigment made by boiling the soot of wood, used for pen and wash drawings
2.
  1. a yellowish-brown to dark brown colour
  2. (as modifier): bistre paint
Word Origin
C18: from French, of unknown origin
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
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Encyclopedia Article for bistre

brown pigment made from boiling the soot of wood. Because bistre is transparent and has no body, it is frequently used in conjunction with pen and ink drawings as a wash, a liquid spread evenly to suggest shadows, and is especially associated with the appearance of the typical "old master drawing."

Learn more about bistre with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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