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

  • noun A dramatic, literary, or musical piece openly imitating the previous works of other artists, often with satirical intent.
  • noun A pasticcio of incongruous parts; a hodgepodge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as pasticcio.

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

  • noun A work of art, drama, literature, music, or architecture that imitates the work of a previous artist.
  • noun A musical medley, typically quoting other works.
  • noun An incongruous mixture; a hodgepodge.
  • noun uncountable A postmodern playwriting technique that fuses a variety of styles, genres, and story lines to create a new form.
  • verb To create or compose in a mixture of styles.

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

  • noun a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work
  • noun a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources


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

[French, from Italian pasticcio; see pasticcio.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via French pastiche, from Italian pasticcio ("pie, something blended"), from Vulgar Latin *pasticium, from Latin pasta ("dough, pastry cake, paste"), from Ancient Greek παστά (pasta, "barley porridge"), from παστός (pastos, "sprinkled with salt").


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  • All these characters, whom I love reading about, esp. in pastiche, must be part of this Secret History.

    Book Cover Smackdown! 'Ender's Game' vs. 'Crossovers 2' vs. 'The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard' 2010

  • Even as artistic theory values repetition and familiarity in pastiche and other ways, law is not keeping up.

    Archive 2009-04-01 Rebecca Tushnet 2009

  • What I usually say about pastiche is that I'm very impressed by people who can emulate other writers to a tee, because I find it difficult enough just to write like myself.

    An Books Blog featuring news, reviews, interviews and guest author blogs. 2008

  • A pastel color pastiche is offset by the presence of seemingly endless light-grade wooden construction/renovation.

    Something’s Hiding In Here « DESIGNPHILADELPHIA 2008

  • Media Watch: TCM played THREE versions of The Wizard of Oz over the holiday -- the 1910 tableaux with Bebe Daniels when she was a child, an odd racist pastiche from the mid-20's with Oliver Hardy -- featuring Dorothy as a purse-lipped flapper princess, plus MGM's classic from 1939.

    View from the Northern Border Michael Evans 2006

  • Block's Nero Wolfe pastiche is much better than the official posthumous Nero Wolfe novels written by Robert Goldborough, which are unreadable (and which should not be read so as not to destroy the wonderfulness of the Rex Stout originals).

    Breakfast in Bed desayunoencama 2005

  • This sort of humorous pastiche is common, and is rarely resented or resisted by the original artists.

    Letters to the Editor 2005

  • This sort of humorous pastiche is common, and is rarely resented or resisted by the original artists.

    Letters to the Editor 2005

  • The anthology includes I Love Paree, a whacky Heinlein pastiche that I co-wrote with the brilliant writer Michael Skeet (fittingly enough, we inaugurated the collaboration at Judith Merril's wake at the Bamboo Club), which has been out of print for a couple of years now.

    Boing Boing: March 9, 2003 - March 15, 2003 Archives 2003

  • Having started in pastiche chic-lit style, Miranda’s finding a much deeper, darker and funnier vein to explore – she could hit the motherlode if she keeps at it.

    Another Pro Blogger - :: gia’s blog :: 2006


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  • Not just a great-sounding word, I love the genre too.

    January 17, 2007

  • Its Italian equivalent "pasticcio" is also a great sounder. It can be a mess/trouble, the musical composition and a dish made up of whatever is available (left-overs)

    December 11, 2007

  • It's strange seeing this word celebrated — unlike pasticcio, I've never seen pastiche as a happy synonym for parody, pasquinade, motley, medley, potpourri, etc., and WeirdNet's last definition is just dead wrong — pastiche as an adjective implies, to me, the highly derogatory "insipid, derivative, counterfeit.." — Pasticheur is a snooty term for a derivative artist or writer (The word screams "inferiority!"); it's a nasty accusation, not an innocuous appellation. Like the creative equivalent of calling someone a slut.

    Of course, this is only my impression, and you'll use the word however you damn well please, but I hope this serves as at least a marginally useful description of what kind of picture the word may paint?

    August 12, 2008

  • only heard this word in reference to films --- by a so called expert ( He was a prof at USC film school ) ...and when no one in the audience quite got the definition correct, he made a couple sarcastic remarks - needless to say THIS did not endear him to our small community which is faaarrrr from Hollywood.

    June 22, 2009

  • Growing up, my mother called a dinner of leftovers "hodge podge". I hate the sound of that. Hodge podge does not sound tasty. It sounds gross. My wife discovered pastiche, so when we have a dinner of miscellaneous leftovers, we have "pastiche". Mmmmm. Delish.

    June 3, 2011

  • Personally, I agree with she/her on this one; pastiche has too many inescapable pejorative connotations for me ever to consider it a positive designation. Instead of hodge-podge, how about salmagundi? Or the ever-pleasing gallimaufry?

    June 3, 2011