Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A preparation of plaster of Paris and glue used as a base for low relief or as a surface for painting.
  • noun A surface of gesso.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In the fine arts: A prepared mass or surface of plaster, usually as a ground for painting.
  • noun Hence, by extension— Any preparation applied to a surface to fit it to receive painting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Plaster of Paris, or gypsum, esp. as prepared for use in painting, or in making bas-reliefs and the like; by extension, a plasterlike or pasty material spread upon a surface to fit it for painting or gilding, or a surface so prepared.
  • noun obsolete A work of art done in gesso.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a mixture of plaster of Paris and glue used to prepare a surface for painting

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun gypsum or plaster of Paris spread on a surface to make it suitable for painting or gilding (or a surface so prepared)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, from Latin gypsum, gypsum; see gypsum.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian gesso

Examples

Comments

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  • Italian - chalk.

    May 19, 2008

  • "... breathing in the smell of the pictures—the smell of oils and charcoal, gesso, paper, canvas, linseed and turpentine, a full-bodied ghost that floated out of its wicker casket...."

    —Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (New York: Bantam Dell, 2005), 645

    February 3, 2010