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

  • noun A soft, smooth, thick mixture or material, as.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The moist clay or clay mixture used in making porcelain or pottery.
  • noun A smooth dough of water, flour, and butter or other shortening, used in making pastry.
  • noun A food that has been pounded until it is reduced to a smooth creamy mass.
  • noun A sweet doughy candy or confection.
  • noun A hard, brilliant, lead-containing glass used in making artificial gems.
  • noun A gem made of this glass.
  • intransitive verb To cause to adhere by applying paste.
  • intransitive verb To cover with something by using paste.
  • intransitive verb Computers To insert (text, graphics, or other data) into a document or file.
  • intransitive verb Computers To insert text, graphics, or other data into a document or file.
  • transitive verb To strike forcefully.
  • transitive verb To defeat soundly.
  • noun A hard blow.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ruff.
  • noun A circlet or wreath of jewels or flowers formerly worn as a bridal wreath.
  • noun Items for making and mending these pastes and diadems are found in old churchwardens’ accompts: thus—
  • noun Passement or gimp.
  • 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.
  • noun A composition in which there is just sufficient moisture to soften the mass without liquefying it: as, flour paste, polishing-paste, etc.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In calico-printing, a composition of flour, water, starch, and other ingredients, used as a vehicle for mordant, color, etc.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In plastering, a mixture of gypsum and water.
  • noun In soap manufacturing, a preliminary or crude combination of fat and lye.
  • noun Figuratively, material.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In mineral, the mineral substance in which other minerals are embedded.
  • noun 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.

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

  • noun 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.
  • noun Specifically, in cookery, a dough prepared for the crust of pies and the like; pastry dough.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A highly refractive vitreous composition, variously colored, used in making imitations of precious stones or gems. See Strass.
  • noun A soft confection made of the inspissated juice of fruit, licorice, or the like, with sugar, etc.
  • noun (Min.) The mineral substance in which other minerals are imbedded.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the vinegar eel. See under Vinegar.
  • transitive verb To unite with paste; to fasten or join by means of paste.

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

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


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; see kwēt- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Probably alteration of baste.]

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