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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  • 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