Definition of plaster in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplastər/


1A soft mixture of lime with sand or cement and water for spreading on walls, ceilings, or other structures to form a smooth hard surface when dried.
Example sentences
  • This demolition exposed ‘stripes’ of structure throughout the existing plaster walls and ceilings.
  • If you are nailing over a lath and plaster ceiling, longer nails may be needed.
  • The nature of their decoration, whether by painted plaster on walls or ceilings, or by tessellated and mosaic floors, compares well with that from the countryside.
1.1 (also plaster of Paris) A hard white substance made by the addition of water to powdered and partly dehydrated gypsum, used for holding broken bones in place and making sculptures and casts.
So called because prepared from the gypsum of Paris, France
Example sentences
  • Once the design is selected, a dough made of ceramic powder, plaster of Paris, cotton and glue is shaped accordingly.
  • Mix up some plaster of Paris with the water in the paper cup, stirring until smooth with the Popsicle stick.
  • We gave them a bottle of water so they could make a plaster of Paris cast for a kid who had broken his arm.
1.2The powder from which plaster is made.
Example sentences
  • Mother had inadvertently used plaster of Paris instead of flour.
  • Mix dry plaster of Paris with water until you have a thick, pudding-like consistency.
  • I watch her sifting plaster of Paris through her fingers as she sprinkles it slowly onto limp water.
2 dated A bandage on which a poultice or liniment is spread for application. See mustard plaster.
Example sentences
  • It is usually followed by herbal plasters and poultices called lepa to help draw toxins out of the pores of the skin.
  • These agents could be used in a pure form but are best utilized in concoctions, plasters, poultices, packs, washes or fumigants.
  • Lotions, plasters, and ointments sold at the store can sometimes be used to remove a wart.
2.1 (also sticking plaster) British An adhesive strip of material for covering cuts and wounds.
Example sentences
  • Waterproof plasters should be used over the wounds when showering.
  • This includes covering cuts and broken skin with waterproof plasters and washing hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • I applied special plasters to the suppurating wounds there.


[with object]
1Cover (a wall, ceiling, or other structure) with plaster.
Example sentences
  • My walls and ceiling were plastered and at some point covered with wallpaper.
  • Over time, plaster walls and ceilings may develop stress-cracks.
  • The brick walls were plastered over with lime of which some traces can be seen.
cover thickly, smother, spread, smear, cake, coat, slather
1.1 (plaster something with/in) Coat or cover something with (a substance), especially to an extent considered excessive: a face plastered in heavy makeup
More example sentences
  • Sainsburys really got behind Comic Relief, plastering their stores in red noses.
  • Commercial Alert is appealing to journalists not to use the corporate names in sports articles - he says plastering ads in stories blurs the line between editorial and advertising.
  • Both sexes are plastered with band logos on bags, T-shirts, patches - Slipknot, Korn, The Deftones.
1.2Make (hair) lie flat by applying a liquid to it: his hair was plastered down with water
More example sentences
  • The rain had plastered his hair flat onto his forehead and turned his pony tail into a slick pointy tip.
  • Water plastered my hair to my red, sweaty face and I ended up looking more like a drenched beach ball than anything else.
  • The rain water plastered her loose hair to her forehead.
flatten (down), smooth down, slick down
1.3Apply a plaster cast or medical plaster to (a part of the body).
Example sentences
  • Staff at Bath's Royal United Hospital are unwilling to plaster her leg because it would require giving her an anaesthetic, which could be dangerous with her heart problems.
  • My husband took her to the camp doctor who plastered her arm.
1.4 (plaster something with) Cover a surface with (large numbers of pictures or posters): the store windows are plastered with posters
More example sentences
  • It's plastered the city with posters telling them the transition plan will take away everything that is sacred.
  • On Thursday, officers were plastering posters in the area warning about the tough new powers.
  • His walls were plastered with posters and memorabilia of the concerts.
1.5 (plaster something over) Present a story or picture conspicuously and sensationally in (a newspaper or magazine): her story was plastered all over the December issue
More example sentences
  • It flies from every third building, it is emblazoned on shop displays, plastered on the bumpers of cars, and scrawled on anti-war banners.
  • His company had plastered posters and media stories around the area telling everyone that track repair work would mean no trains that day and advertising replacement buses.
  • You have to wonder why he should want his life story plastered all over the daily papers.
1.6 informal, dated Bomb or shell (a target) heavily.
Example sentences
  • The support-by-fire elements plaster the T-80's area with machine gun fire and main gun rounds.
  • The enemy plastered the troops in this position, particularly from the air, where he was unmolested, and followed the bombardment by a further attack on our position.



Example sentences
  • I'm watching the mouse and the mouse is watching me, and I can smell the dust and the sainfoin and the cool plastery smell, and I'm up the Amazon, and it's bliss, pure bliss.
  • I've partially moved out of my plastery noisy house to stay with my friend whose roommate is away for a week or so.
  • Olitski's Tiresias View, with its incised creamy acrylic, recalls a parched river bed, while Noel's The Gate of Dawn, with its white on-white bands and plastery striations, looks like glacier-scraped stone.


Old English, denoting a bandage spread with a curative substance, from medieval Latin plastrum (shortening of Latin emplastrum, from Greek emplastron 'daub, salve'), later reinforced by the Old French noun plastre. Sense 1 dates from late Middle English.

Words that rhyme with plaster

blaster, caster, castor, faster, grandmaster, headmaster, master, pastor

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plas·ter

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