Definition of pastel in English:


Syllabification: pas·tel
Pronunciation: /paˈstel


  • 1A crayon made of powdered pigments bound with gum or resin.
    More example sentences
    • It consisted of almost two dozen oils - some small, some grand - rounded out by approximately three dozen drawings in pencil, ink, chalk, crayon or pastels.
    • With the proper tools - paper, crayons, pastels, colored pencils, markers, pen and ink - we can all celebrate and explore our creativity.
    • True to a kids' art forms, I use pastels, pencil crayons and the great unsung medium of Jiffy markers.
  • 1.1A work of art created using pastels: a pastel entitled “Girl Braiding Her Hair.”
    More example sentences
    • The book is beautifully illustrated with paintings and pastels by the author who is a master pastelist.
    • During the turbulent year of 1928, he created just four pastels of the park.
    • On June 15 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, his original pastels will be auctioned, with some proceeds going towards children's charities.
  • 2A soft and delicate shade of a color: the subtlest of pastels and creams
    More example sentences
    • The colours are dominated by delicate pastels and powdery shades of white, sand, cream and beige.
    • Soft off-white colours and pastels, chubby pillows and billowing curtains take the edge off a late night nursing or a restless bout of colic.
    • Builders citinge shades of soft pastels and muted earth tones as emerging favorites.


Back to top  
  • Of a soft and delicate shade or color: pastel blue curtains
    More example sentences
    • Outlining the trends of this season, Manu says long and short jacket in pastel shades with light embroidery are in vogue with bright electric ones for the flamboyant.
    • Talia's room, when we reach it and I actually take the time to observe it, is decorated in varying shades of pastel blue, more or less coordinating the curtains and the bed sheets.
    • Her skin was the colour of the morning sky, that light pastel blue.



(also pastellist) noun
More example sentences
  • As Clarke says: ‘Degas is simply one of the great pastelists.’
  • She was the pupil first of her father, a pastellist specializing in portraiture, and then of Doyen, but also benefited from the advice of family friends.
  • There is an early Irish link with the pastellist, who went to South Carolina from Dublin in 1708.


mid 17th century: via French from Italian pastello, diminutive of pasta 'paste'.

More definitions of pastel

Definition of pastel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmālˌsträm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea