noun, plural pastries.
a sweet baked food made of dough, especially the shortened paste used for pie crust and the like.
any item of food of which such dough forms an essential part, as a pie, tart, or napoleon.

1530–40; paste + -ry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pastry (ˈpeɪstrɪ)
n , pl -tries
1.  a dough of flour, water, shortening, and sometimes other ingredients
2.  baked foods, such as tarts, made with this dough
3.  an individual cake or pastry pie
[C16: from paste1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1442, "food made with paste," not originally limited to sweets, from M.E. paste (see paste (n.)), probably influenced by O.Fr. pastaierie "pastry," from pastoier "pastry cook," from paste (see paste (n.)); also borrowed from M.L. pasteria "pastry,"
from L. pasta. Specific sense of "small confection made of pastry" is from 1906.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


stiff dough made from flour, salt, a relatively high proportion of fat, and a small proportion of liquid. It may also contain sugar or flavourings. Most pastry is leavened only by the action of steam, but Danish pastry is raised with yeast. Pastry is rolled or patted out into thin sheets to line pie or tart pans and to enclose fillings. Poultry, tenderloin of beef and other cuts of meat, and pates are sometimes prepared en croute, wrapped in a pastry crust. Thicker sheets may be formed into cases, pinwheels, crescents, or braids, with or without fillings and glazes or icings

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The best are encased in flaky puff pastry and baked on the walls of an earthen
  kiln instead of an oven.
In buying flour, whether bread or pastry, select the best kept by your grocer.
We bought three things: organic stoneground wheat flour, organic stoneground
  wheat pastry flour, and corn polenta.
The whole-grain pastry is made with seasonal fruits.
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