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

  • n. A drawing medium of dried paste made of ground pigments and a water-based binder that is manufactured in crayon form.
  • n. A crayon of this material.
  • n. A picture or sketch drawn with this type of crayon.
  • n. The art or process of drawing with pastels.
  • n. A soft delicate hue; a pale color: a room done all in pastels.
  • n. A sketchy or brief prose work.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or made of pastel.
  • adj. Pale and soft in color.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several subdued tints of colors, usually associated with pink, peach, yellow, green, blue and lavender
  • n. A drawing made with any of those colors.
  • n. A type of dried paste used to make crayons.
  • n. A crayon made from such a paste.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A crayon made of a paste composed of a color ground with gum water.
  • n. A plant affording a blue dye; the woad (Isatis tinctoria); also, the dye itself.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The plant woad, Isatis tinctoria; also, the blue dye obtained from it.
  • n. In art: A colored crayon made of pigments ground with chalk, and compounded with gum-water into a sort of paste.
  • n. A drawing made with colored chalks or crayons; also, the art of drawing with colored crayons.
  • n. Figuratively, a short prose study, poetic, picturesque, but sketchy.
  • n. In textiles, a soft half-faded tint in fabrics used for dress-materials: so called from its resemblance to the tones of old pastel drawings.

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

  • n. any of various pale or light colors
  • adj. delicate and pale in color
  • adj. lacking in body or vigor


French, from Italian pastello, material made into a paste, from Late Latin pastellus, woad dye, diminutive of pasta, paste; see paste1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pastaĀ ("paste"). (Wiktionary)



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