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plaster of Paris

or plaster of paris

calcined gypsum in white, powdery form, used as a base for gypsum plasters, as an additive of lime plasters, and as a material for making fine and ornamental casts: characterized by its ability to set rapidly when mixed with water.
Origin of plaster of Paris
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; so called because prepared from the gypsum of Paris, France Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for plaster-of-paris
Historical Examples
  • They were of plaster-of-paris, and were the leavings evidently of the dentist, who had been the last tenant.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • “Now fetch that bag of plaster-of-paris from the tool-house,” said the Colonel.

    Sappers and Miners George Manville Fenn
  • Hitched in front of it were eight tiny reindeer, made of plaster-of-paris, properly colored.

  • All about her were statues and plaster-of-paris reproductions of masterpieces.

    The Magic Curtain Roy J. Snell
  • The slabs are clamped to the top flanges by steel clips, having bolts set with plaster-of-paris in holes drilled in the slabs.

    The Purple Cloud M.P. Shiel
  • Dr. Dion, a fine surgeon, set it, and placed my foot in plaster-of-paris.

    Bolax Josephine Culpeper
  • Ink your plate and wipe it clean, as described in Note , and then pour over it plaster-of-paris mixed with water.

    A Treatise on Etching Maxime Lalanne
  • Briefly, it is a method of casting printing plates of aluminum alloy in molds made from a composition of plaster-of-paris.

  • The keeper there says I am a wonderful shot—I hit a plaster-of-paris rabbit seven times in succession!

  • Bronzing is that process by which figures of plaster-of-paris, wood, &c. are made to have the appearance of copper or brass.

British Dictionary definitions for plaster-of-paris

plaster of Paris

a white powder that sets to a hard solid when mixed with water, used for making sculptures and casts, as an additive for lime plasters, and for making casts for setting broken limbs. It is usually the hemihydrate of calcium sulphate, 2CaSO4.H2O
the hard plaster produced when this powder is mixed with water: a fully hydrated form of calcium sulphate
Sometimes shortened to plaster
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin plastrum parisiense, originally made from the gypsum of Paris
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 plaster-of-paris

plaster of Paris


mid-15c.; originally it was made from the extensive gypsum deposits of Montmartre in Paris.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plaster-of-paris in Medicine

plaster of Paris plaster of Par·is (pār'ĭs)
Any of a group of gypsum cements, essentially hemihydrated calcium sulfate, a white powder that forms a paste when mixed with water and hardens into a solid, used in making casts and molds.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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plaster-of-paris in Science
plaster of Paris
A form of calcium phosphate derived from gypsum. It is mixed with water to make casts and molds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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