Definition of pastel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpast(ə)l/


1A crayon made of powdered pigments bound with gum or resin: future issues will demonstrate work with pastels and marker pens [as modifier]: a pastel drawing
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 with 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 colour: 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.


Of a soft and delicate shade of colour: 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 pastelist) noun
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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pas¦tel

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