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[pyoo-ter] /ˈpyu tər/
any of various alloys in which tin is the chief constituent, originally one of tin and lead.
a container or utensil made of such an alloy.
such utensils collectively:
a revival of interest in pewter.
British Slang.
  1. a cup awarded as a prize or trophy, as in a sporting event.
  2. prize money (def 2).
consisting or made of pewter:
a pewter mug.
Origin of pewter
1325-75; Middle English pewtre < Middle French peutre < Vulgar Latin *piltrum; perhaps akin to spelter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pewter
  • Gentlemen tucked pewter flagons into their sea chests, along with irons for pressing ruffles into their collars.
  • The pale gray concrete floor tiles feature pewter floral insets.
  • The ubiquitous pewter buttons are a relatively new development.
  • There is a pewter jug on the bedside table that likes to hoard the sun and moon on its curve.
  • The medallions are made of pewter and are cast rather than struck between dies.
  • If they used porringers, they were often silver instead of pewter.
  • It includes this distressed painted-wood cabinet with a mahogany top, pewter drawer pulls and a pullout tray.
  • Quaffing ale from pewter tankards, in the master's antique chair.
  • The medallions are packaged in individual gift boxes with a silver seal and include a pewter medallion stand.
  • The company manufactures pewter tableware, giftware and jewelry.
British Dictionary definitions for pewter


  1. any of various alloys containing tin (80–90 per cent), lead (10–20 per cent), and sometimes small amounts of other metals, such as copper and antimony
  2. (as modifier): pewter ware, a pewter tankard
  1. a bluish-grey colour
  2. (as adjective): pewter tights
plate or kitchen utensils made from pewter
Derived Forms
pewterer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French peaultre, of obscure origin; related to Old Provençal peltre pewter
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 pewter

early 14c., "any of various alloys having tin as their main constituent" (the usual form is one part lead to four parts tin), from Old French peautre (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *peltrum "pewter" (source of Spanish peltre, Italian peltro), of uncertain origin. Related: Pewterer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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