Definition of gesso in English:


Line breaks: gesso
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛsəʊ

noun (plural gessoes)

[mass noun]
  • A hard compound of plaster of Paris or whiting in glue, used in sculpture or as a base for gilding or painting on wood: the surface must first be given several coats of gesso [as modifier]: gesso panels
    More example sentences
    • By the fifteenth century, many Western artists were using it in frescoes or in gesso on wood panel paintings.
    • Emulating the old masters, he used tempera and oil over gesso on wood, then covered the surface with transparent glaze.
    • Executed in egg tempera and gesso on panel rather than the acrylics and oils for which the artist is best known, these new paintings exhibit a sensual luminosity not previously seen in his work.


late 16th century: Italian, from Latin gypsum (see gypsum).

More definitions of gesso

Definition of gesso in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw