passe-par·​tout ˌpas-pər-ˈtü How to pronounce passe-partout (audio)
: master key
opened the door with a passe-partout
: a method of framing in which a picture, a mat, a glass, and a back (as of cardboard) are held together by strips of paper or cloth pasted over the edges
a picture framed in passe-partout
: a strong paper gummed on one side and used especially for mounting pictures

Examples of passe-partout in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Enlarge / Black stains on the passe-partout of the Folio 843 of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'passe-partout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from passe partout pass everywhere

First Known Use

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of passe-partout was in 1675

Dictionary Entries Near passe-partout

Cite this Entry

“Passe-partout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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