de·​cou·​page | \ ˌdā-(ˌ)kü-ˈpäzh How to pronounce decoupage (audio) \
variants: or découpage

Definition of decoupage

1 : the art of decorating surfaces by applying cutouts (as of paper) and then coating with usually several layers of finish (such as lacquer or varnish)
2 : work produced by decoupage

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Other Words from decoupage

decoupage or découpage transitive verb

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Decoupage originated in France in the 17th century as a means of artistically decorating pieces of furniture with pictures. It took a few centuries, but by the mid-20th century "decoupage" became a household name in American interior decoration. The word is fashioned from Middle French decouper, meaning "to cut out." "Decouper," in turn, pastes together the prefix de- ("from" or "away") and "couper" ("to cut). Other descendants of "couper" include "coppice" (a growth of small trees that are periodically cut), "coupé" (a horse-drawn carriage for two with a driver outside and whose name is thought to be from French carrosse coupé, literally, "cut-off coach"), and the clear-cut "coupon."

Examples of decoupage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When the box is completely dry, cut a piece of decorative paper to fit inside the box and secure with decoupage or hot glue. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 May 2021 She was commissioned by Penguin Random House in 2008 to write a three-book series about Lucy Lawrence, who teaches decoupage classes in a New England town, solving murders on the side. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, 27 Feb. 2021 New York City designer and shopkeeper John Derian is famous for combining antique furniture, vintage textiles, flea market finds and his signature decoupage pieces into vignettes that exude romance and character. Star Tribune, 29 Dec. 2020 Handmade treasures include woodworking, jewelry, glass, pottery, live plant displays, textiles, candles, decoupage, 3-D prints, resins, cards, wreaths, crochet, steam punk, photography, painting and more. Melanie Savage,, 23 Nov. 2020 Artists used paint, decoupage and tiles to create diverse sculptures including Starry Night based on the famous Van Gogh painting. Annie Alleman,, 13 Nov. 2020 Dunbar was hired to use his skill at decoupage to design a nautical-themed study for Robert Ballard, the archaeologist and maritime explorer best known for discovering the wreckage of the Titanic. John Pope,, 10 Nov. 2020 Derian, the decoupage master behind beloved New York City shops and collections with Astier de Villatte, launched his first tabletop pieces for Target last year, as part of the retailer’s 20th anniversary program. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 5 Oct. 2020 Lightly coat the pumpkin with another layer of decoupage medium to seal the chinoiserie design. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decoupage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of decoupage

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decoupage

French découpage, literally, act of cutting out, from Middle French, from decouper to cut out, from de- + couper to cut — more at cope entry 1

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The first known use of decoupage was in 1946

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Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decoupage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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