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[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.
Origin of impasto
1775-85; < Italian, noun derivative of impastare to impaste Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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
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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
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