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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.

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plasterbarter, Bata, cantata, carter, cassata, charter, chipolata, ciabatta, darter, desiderata, errata, garter, imprimatur, Inkatha, Jakarta, Magna Carta, Maratha, martyr, Odonata, passata, persona non grata, rata, Renata, Río de la Plata, serenata, sonata, Sparta, starter, strata, taramasalata, tartar, Tatar, Zapata •after, drafter, grafter, hereafter, laughter, rafter, thereafter, whereafter •chanter, enchanter, granter, planter, supplanter, transplanter, Vedantablaster, caster, castor, faster, grandmaster, headmaster, master, pastor, plaster •alabaster • telecaster • forecaster •broadcaster • sportscaster •newscaster • sandblaster •bandmaster • taskmaster •pastmaster • paymaster • ringmaster •quizmaster • spymaster •housemaster • Scoutmaster •toastmaster • schoolmaster •harbourmaster (US harbormaster) •quartermaster • substrata •sought-after

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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.

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plaster. Pasty composition of soft and plastic consistency spread or daubed on a surface where it hardens. It was traditionally made of burnt limestone (quicklime or calcium oxide) mixed with sand, water, and hair to provide a smooth surface fit to receive decorations. Plaster of Paris is lime sulphate (gypsum) deprived of its natural water-content by heat, ground to a fine powder and mixed with water to form a paste: it sets quickly, expanding at the time of setting, a peculiarity that not only makes it useful for filling cracks, but causes it to take sharp and delicate impressions from a mould. See also stucco.


W. McKay (1957);
Nicholson (1835);
W. Papworth (1852)

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plaster (plah-ster) n. adhesive tape used in shaped pieces or as a bandage to keep a dressing in place.