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pastel1

[pa-stel; especially British pas-tl] /pæˈstɛl; especially British ˈpæs tl/
noun
1.
a color having a soft, subdued shade.
2.
a kind of dried paste made of pigments ground with chalk and compounded with gum water.
3.
a chalklike crayon made from such paste.
4.
the art of drawing with such crayons.
5.
a drawing so made.
6.
a short, light prose study or sketch.
adjective
7.
having a soft, subdued shade.
8.
drawn with pastels:
a pastel portrait.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < French < Italian pastello < Late Latin pastellus, variant of Latin pastillus (see pastille)

pastel2

[pas-tel] /ˈpæs tɛl/
noun
1.
the woad plant.
2.
the dye made from it.
Origin
1570-80; < Middle French < Provençal < Medieval Latin pastellum (neuter) woad (orig. woad paste), for Late Latin pastellus (masculine), diminutive of pasta paste; change of gender by influence of Latin glastum woad
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pastel
  • Houses are painted in pastel shades, and no two side-by-side homes are the same color.
  • The interior design features a mixture of muted browns and pastel blues.
  • Monumental and monochromatic public works had risen on the trampled foundations of prerevolutionary pastel palaces.
  • But the positive side is that in the right hands pastel suits landscape perfectly.
  • Along the road, exhaust-spewing trucks rumble through villages of concrete homes painted in pastel shades of green and yellow.
  • The apartment buildings around the pond had been renovated, one in freshly painted pastel-yellow and white.
  • pastel houses seem to rise out of lovely flower gardens.
  • The grueling sun had subsided, giving way to a pastel transition to evening.
  • Rows of white and pastel apartment blocks stand vacant, their windows dark and their lower stories overgrown.
  • There might be six lines, in varying shades of pastel blue and green.
British Dictionary definitions for pastel

pastel

/ˈpæstəl; pæˈstɛl/
noun
1.
  1. a substance made of ground pigment bound with gum, used for making sticks for drawing
  2. a crayon of this
  3. a drawing done in such crayons
2.
the medium or technique of pastel drawing
3.
a pale delicate colour
4.
a light prose work, esp a poetic one
5.
another name for woad
adjective
6.
(of a colour) pale; delicate: pastel blue
Derived Forms
pastelist, pastellist, noun
Word Origin
C17: via French from Italian pastello, from Late Latin pastellus woad compounded into a paste, diminutive of pastapaste1
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 pastel
n.

1660s, "crayons, chalk-like pigment used in crayons," from French pastel "crayon," from Italian pastello "a pastel," literally "material reduced to a paste," from Late Latin pastellus "dye from the leaves of the woad plant," diminutive of pasta (see pasta). Meaning "pale or light color" (like that of pastels) first recorded 1899. As an adjective from 1884.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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