Pastels

pastel

1 [pa-stel; especially British pas-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:
1655–65; < French < Italian pastello < Late Latin pastellus, variant of Latin pastillus (see pastille)

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pastel

2 [pas-tel]
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

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pastel (ˈpæstəl, pæˈstɛl)
 
n
1.  a.  a substance made of ground pigment bound with gum, used for making sticks for drawing
 b.  a crayon of this
 c.  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
 
adj
6.  (of a colour) pale; delicate: pastel blue
 
[C17: via French from Italian pastello, from Late Latin pastellus woad compounded into a paste, diminutive of pastapaste1]
 
'pastelist
 
n
 
'pastellist
 
n

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

pastel
1662, "crayons, chalk-like pigment used in crayons," from Fr. pastel "crayon," from It. pastello "a pastel," lit. "material reduced to a paste," from L.L. pastellus "dye from the leaves of the woad plant," dim. of pasta (see pasta). Meaning "pale or light color" first recorded 1899.
"The soft, wraith-like tints ... are now in fashion again. The modern name for them is 'pastels,' ... for these soft, half-faded tones bear the same relation to real colours as pastels do to oil-paintings." [(London) Daily News, Oct. 21, 1899]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Synonyms
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