Is it farther or further?


[im-pas-toh, -pah-stoh] /ɪmˈpæs toʊ, -ˈpɑ stoʊ/
noun, Painting.
the laying on of paint thickly.
the paint so laid on.
enamel or slip applied to a ceramic object to form a decoration in low relief.
1775-85; < Italian, noun derivative of impastare to impaste Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for impasto
  • These are skilful works with impressionistic brush-strokes and rich impasto.
  • Casein paint is used on paper or board for light impasto, underpainting, and wall decoration.
  • It is relatively thinly applied with a certain amount of impasto in the flowers and some highlights.
  • The flattened impasto is, presumably, a consequence of previous treatments.
  • The impasto is rich and dense, pure paint heavily worked on the canvas.
British Dictionary definitions for impasto


paint applied thickly, so that brush and palette knife marks are evident
the technique of applying paint in this way
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from impastare; see impaste
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for impasto

laying on of colors thickly," 1784, from Italian impasto, noun of action from impastare "to raise paste; to put in paste," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + pasta "paste" (see pasta).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for impasto

paint that is applied to a canvas or panel in quantities that make it stand out from the surface. Impasto was used frequently to mimic the broken-textured quality of highlights-i.e., the surfaces of objects that are struck by an intense light. Impasto came into its own in the 17th century, when such Baroque painters as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Diego Velazquez used skillfully and minutely worked impastos to depict lined and wrinkled skin or the sparkle of elaborately crafted armour, jewelry, and rich fabrics. The 19th-century painter Vincent van Gogh made notable use of impastos, building up and defining the forms in his paintings with thick, nervous dabs of paint. Twentieth-century painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning often applied impastos with a dynamism and a gestural bravura that emphasized the physical qualities of the paint itself. Since then, raw pigments applied thickly to a canvas have become a staple technique of modern abstract and semifigurative painting.

Learn more about impasto with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for impasto

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for impasto

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for impasto