plas·ter / ˈplastər/ • n. 1. a 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. ∎ (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. ∎ the powder from which such a substance is made. 2. dated a bandage on which a poultice or liniment is spread for application. See mustard plaster. ∎ Brit. an adhesive strip of material for covering cuts and wounds. • v. [tr.] cover (a wall, ceiling, or other structure) with plaster. ∎ (plaster something with/in) coat or cover something with (a substance), esp. to an extent considered excessive: a face plastered in heavy makeup. ∎ [tr.] make (hair) lie flat by applying a liquid to it: his hair was plastered down with water. ∎ apply a plaster cast or medical plaster to (a part of the body). ∎ (plaster something with) cover a surface with (large numbers of pictures or posters): the store windows are plastered with posters. ∎ (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. ∎ inf., dated bomb or shell (a target) heavily. DERIVATIVES: plas·ter·y adj.
A. curative application cohesive to the skin OE.;
B. plastic composition to be spread on a surface XIV. OE. plaster, corr. to OS. plāstar, OHG. phlastar (G. pflaster), ON. plástr — medL. plastrum, for L. emplastrum (prob. through the infl. of plasticus PLASTIC) — Gr. émplastron, f. emplastós daubed, plastered, f. emplássein, f. EM-2 + plássein (see prec.); in ME. reinforced in sense B from OF. plastre (mod. plâtre). The once common (now dial.) form plaister (XIV–XIX) is based on occas. OF. plaistre, of obscure orig. P. of Paris (medL. plastrum parisiense) was orig. prepared from the gypsums of Montmartre, Paris.
W. McKay (1957);
W. Papworth (1852)