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

  • noun A mixture of lime or gypsum, sand, and water, sometimes with fiber added, that hardens to a smooth solid and is used for coating walls and ceilings.
  • noun Plaster of Paris.
  • noun A pastelike mixture applied to a part of the body for healing or cosmetic purposes.
  • noun Chiefly British An adhesive bandage.
  • intransitive verb To cover, coat, or repair with plaster.
  • intransitive verb To cover or hide with or as if with a coat of plaster.
  • intransitive verb To apply a plaster to.
  • intransitive verb To cover conspicuously, as with things pasted on; overspread.
  • intransitive verb To affix conspicuously, usually with a paste.
  • intransitive verb To make smooth by applying a sticky substance.
  • intransitive verb To make adhere to another surface.
  • intransitive verb To inflict heavy damage or injury on.
  • intransitive verb To defeat decisively.
  • intransitive verb To apply plaster.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In a general sense, calcium sulphate, whether deprived by heat of its water of crystallization or not, as, for instance, the crust of hydrated calcium sulphate which forms on salt-boilers' pans, or natural gypsum used as a fertilizer and known as land-plaster.
  • To apply a medicative plaster to; cover with a plaster: as, to plaster a wound.
  • To cover or overlay with plaster, as the walls of a house, partitions, etc.
  • To bedaub or besmear: as, to plaster the face with powder.
  • To fill or cover over with or as with plaster; hide; gloss: with up.
  • To treat with plaster; add gypsum to: as, to plaster vines by dusting them with gypsum in order to prevent rot or mildew of the berries; to plaster wines by adding gypsum in order to neutralize acid or produce other fancied benefits.
  • noun In pharmacy, a solid compound intended for external application, adhesive at the temperature of the human body, and requiring to be softened by heat before being spread.
  • noun A composition of lime water, and sand, with or without hair for binding, well mixed so as to form a kind of paste, and used for coating walls and partitions of houses.
  • noun Calcined gypsum or calcium sulphate, used, when mixed with water, for finishing walls, for molds, ornaments, casts, luting, cement, etc.
  • noun Calcined gypsum—that is, gypsum from which the water has been driven off by heat : used in building and in making casts of busts and statues, etc. When diluted with water into a thin paste, plaster of Paris sets rapidly, and at the instant of setting expands or increases in bulk; hence this material becomes valuable for filling cavities, etc., where other earths would shrink.

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

  • transitive verb To cover with a plaster, as a wound or sore.
  • transitive verb To overlay or cover with plaster, as the ceilings and walls of a house.
  • transitive verb Fig.: To smooth over; to cover or conceal the defects of; to hide, as with a covering of plaster.
  • noun (Med.) An external application of a consistency harder than ointment, prepared for use by spreading it on linen, leather, silk, or other material. It is adhesive at the ordinary temperature of the body, and is used, according to its composition, to produce a medicinal effect, to bind parts together, etc..
  • noun A composition of lime, water, and sand, with or without hair as a bond, for coating walls, ceilings, and partitions of houses. See Mortar.
  • noun Calcined gypsum, or plaster of Paris, especially when ground, as used for making ornaments, figures, moldings, etc.; or calcined gypsum used as a fertilizer.
  • noun a copy of an object obtained by pouring plaster of Paris mixed with water into a mold.
  • noun (Chem.) Anhydrous calcium sulphate, or calcined gypsum, which forms with water a paste which soon sets or hardens, and is used for casts, moldings, etc. The term is loosely applied to any plaster stone or species of gypsum.
  • noun (Surg.) a bandage saturated with a paste of plaster of Paris, which on drying forms a perfectly fitting splint.
  • noun any species of gypsum. See Gypsum.

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

  • noun uncountable A paste applied to the skin for healing or cosmetic purposes.
  • noun countable, New Zealand, UK A small adhesive bandage to cover a minor wound; a sticking plaster.
  • noun uncountable A mixture of lime or gypsum, sand, and water, sometimes with the addition of fibres, that hardens to a smooth solid and is used for coating walls and ceilings.
  • noun countable A cast made of plaster of Paris and gauze; plaster cast.
  • verb transitive To cover or coat something with plaster, or apply a plaster.
  • verb transitive To hide or cover up, as if with plaster.

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

  • noun a surface of hardened plaster (as on a wall or ceiling)
  • verb apply a heavy coat to
  • noun adhesive tape used in dressing wounds
  • verb affix conspicuously
  • noun a medical dressing consisting of a soft heated mass of meal or clay that is spread on a cloth and applied to the skin to treat inflamed areas or improve circulation etc.
  • verb cover conspicuously or thickly, as by pasting something on
  • noun any of several gypsum cements; a white powder (a form of calcium sulphate) that forms a paste when mixed with water and hardens into a solid; used in making molds and sculptures and casts for broken limbs
  • verb coat with plaster


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

[Middle English, from Old English, medical dressing, and from Old French plastre, cementing material, both from Latin emplastrum, medical dressing, from Greek emplastron, from emplassein, to plaster on : en-, in, on; see en– + plassein, to mold; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English plaster, from late Latin plastrum; later reinforced by Anglo-Norman plaistre.


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  • IrE uses 'plaster' for AmE bandaid/Band-Aid.

    March 31, 2011