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

  • n. A soft, smooth, thick mixture or material, as:
  • n. A smooth viscous mixture, as of flour and water or of starch and water, that is used as an adhesive for joining light materials, such as paper and cloth.
  • n. The moist clay or clay mixture used in making porcelain or pottery. Also called pâte.
  • n. A smooth dough of water, flour, and butter or other shortening, used in making pastry.
  • n. A food that has been pounded until it is reduced to a smooth creamy mass: anchovy paste.
  • n. A sweet doughy candy or confection: rolled apricot paste.
  • n. A hard, brilliant, lead-containing glass used in making artificial gems.
  • n. A gem made of this glass. Also called strass.
  • transitive v. To cause to adhere by or as if by applying paste.
  • transitive v. To cover with something by or as if by pasting: He pasted the wall with burlap. The wall is pasted with splotches.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To insert (text, graphics, or other data) into a document or file.
  • intransitive v. Computer Science To insert text, graphics, or other data into a document or file.
  • transitive v. To strike forcefully.
  • transitive v. To defeat soundly.
  • n. A hard blow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A soft mixture, in particular:
  • n. Specifically, one of flour, fat, or similar ingredients used in making pastry.
  • n. Specifically, one of pounded foods, such as fish paste, liver paste, or tomato paste.
  • n. Specifically, one used as an adhesive, especially for putting up wallpapers, etc.
  • n. A substance that behaves as a solid until a sufficiently large load or stress is applied, at which point it flows like a fluid
  • n. A hard lead-containing glass, or an artificial gemstone made from this glass.
  • n. Pasta.
  • v. To stick with paste; to cause to adhere by or as if by paste.
  • v. To insert a piece of media (e.g. text, picture, audio, video, movie container etc.) previously copied or cut from somewhere else.
  • v. To strike or beat someone or something.
  • v. To defeat decisively or by a large margin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A soft composition, as of flour moistened with water or milk, or of earth moistened to the consistence of dough, as in making potter's ware.
  • n. Specifically, in cookery, a dough prepared for the crust of pies and the like; pastry dough.
  • n. A kind of cement made of flour and water, starch and water, or the like, -- used for uniting paper or other substances, as in bookbinding, etc., -- also used in calico printing as a vehicle for mordant or color.
  • n. A highly refractive vitreous composition, variously colored, used in making imitations of precious stones or gems. See Strass.
  • n. A soft confection made of the inspissated juice of fruit, licorice, or the like, with sugar, etc.
  • n. The mineral substance in which other minerals are imbedded.
  • transitive v. To unite with paste; to fasten or join by means of paste.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A composition in which there is just sufficient moisture to soften the mass without liquefying it: as, flour paste, polishing-paste, etc.
  • n. A mixture of flour and water boiled and sometimes strengthened by the addition of starch, and often preserved from molding by some added substance, used as a cement in various trades, as in bookbinding, leather-manufacture, shoemaking, etc.
  • n. In calico-printing, a composition of flour, water, starch, and other ingredients, used as a vehicle for mordant, color, etc.
  • n. In ceramics, clay kneaded up with water, and with the addition, in some cases, of other ingredients, of which mixture the body of a vessel or other object of earthenware is made. The paste of common pottery is either hard or soft. The hard is that which, after firing, cannot be scratched by knife or file. In porcelain the difference is more radical, the paste of soft-paste porcelain not being strictly a ceramic production. (See soft-paste porcelain, under porcelain.) The epithets hard and soft have reference to the power of resisting heat, hard-paste porcelain supporting and requiring a much higher temperature than the other. The paste of stoneware is mingled with a vitrifiable substance, so that after being fired it is no longer porous, whereas the paste of common pottery absorbs water freely.
  • n. In plastering, a mixture of gypsum and water.
  • n. In soap manufacturing, a preliminary or crude combination of fat and lye.
  • n. Figuratively, material.
  • n. Heavy glass made by fusing silica (quartz, flint, or pure sand), potash, borax, and white oxid of lead, etc., to imitate gems; hence, a factitious gem of this material.
  • n. In mineral, the mineral substance in which other minerals are embedded.
  • n. The inspissated juice of fruit to which gum and powdered sugar have been added.
  • Made of paste, as an artificial jewel (see I.,3); hence, artificial; sham; counterfeit; not genuine: as, paste diamonds.
  • To unite or cement with paste; fasten with paste.—2. To apply paste to, in any of its technical compositions or uses; incorporate with a paste, as a color in dyeing.
  • n. A ruff.
  • n. A circlet or wreath of jewels or flowers formerly worn as a bridal wreath.
  • n. Items for making and mending these pastes and diadems are found in old churchwardens’ accompts: thus—
  • n. Passement or gimp.

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

  • v. join or attach with or as if with glue
  • v. cover the surface of
  • n. an adhesive made from water and flour or starch; used on paper and paperboard
  • v. hit with the fists
  • n. a hard, brilliant lead glass that is used in making artificial jewelry
  • n. a tasty mixture to be spread on bread or crackers or used in preparing other dishes
  • n. any mixture of a soft and malleable consistency


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin pasta, from Greek, barley-porridge, from neuter pl. of pastos, sprinkled, salted, from passein, to sprinkle.
Probably alteration of baste3.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French (modern pâte), from Late Latin pasta, from Ancient Greek.



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  • "To make pastry strong enough to withstand a filling, hot water was used to turn the gluten in rye flour into an elastic grey putty that would stay upright on its own. The pastry, or paste as it was known, was raised up by hand either by using a wooden plug or by punching a fist into a ball of dough and pulling up the sides rather like a crude pot. Except that it was not crude--it was rather skilful and, above all, practical. Once the pies with their contents were cooked, the gravy could be drained out and clarified butter poured in through a pipe or funnel in the top. This sealed the meat from the air and kept it fresh in the larder for weeks or even months. It might then be reheated and, just before it was served, a fresh, hot gravy or a sweet, spiced and sometimes ale-spiked caudle of eggs could be added; at the table, the crust would be broken open and the contents spooned out as the steam rose. The tough, inedible pastry was either discarded or kept in the kitchen as a thickener for pottages."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 79

    January 8, 2017