pas·​tel | \ pa-ˈstel How to pronounce pastel (audio) \

Definition of pastel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a paste made of powdered pigment ranging from pale to deep colors and used for making crayons also : a crayon made of such paste
2a : a drawing in pastel
b : the process or art of drawing with pastels
3 : a light literary sketch
4 : any of various pale or light colors



Definition of pastel (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of or relating to a pastel
b : made with pastels
2 : pale and light in color
3 : lacking in body or vigor

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Synonyms & Antonyms for pastel

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of pastel in a Sentence

Noun She has a collection of pastels. She prefers a pastel like light yellow. The room is painted in a pastel shade of blue. Adjective a pastel blue to go with the pale pink walls
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The ship also boasts a more contemporary interior look versus the soft pastels and beige palette of prior Princess ships. Peter Knego, USA TODAY, "Cruise ship tour: See inside Sky Princess, Princess Cruises' newest, largest ship," 31 Dec. 2019 While the 36-year-old actress regularly mixes up her beauty routine—playing with raspberry lipstick hues and pastel-colored lids with talented makeup Artist, Pati Dubroff—Chopra has been loyal to her dark hair for most of her time in the spotlight. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra's Honeymoon Highlights Are a Spring Trend in the Making," 18 Jan. 2019 Mirror Images In the beginning and end of the video, Beyoncé and Jay-Z both wear pastel-colored suits in front of the Mona Lisa. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Here’s Who Designed Each Look From Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s ‘Apesh*t’ Video," 18 June 2018 The new privacy page is decorated with pastel-colored cartoon humans. Tracey Lien,, "Why do people hand over so much data to tech companies? It's not easy to say 'no'," 29 Mar. 2018 In March, the smart-luggage brand launched a pastel-colored collaboration with Pop & Suki, a popular handbag and accessories line founded by Poppy Jaime and Suki Waterhouse. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Away Brings Back Sold-Out Millennial Pink Luggage," 25 Oct. 2017 The men looked dapper in pastel-colored vests, while Kate wore an M Missoni tweed coat, floral dress, and a stylish hat that needs to become a thing at American weddings. Redbook, "The Royal Family's Big Weekend," 31 Mar. 2014 An easy way to lift your mood and turn heads is to incorporate neons, pastels and vibrant hues to your look. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "How To Incorporate Bright Hues Into Your Fall Wardrobe," 31 Oct. 2019 Choose a palette like earth tones, neutrals, pastels or blues. New York Times, "How to Make Your Travel Clothes Pop on Instagram," 29 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Each nail is a different pastel shade and has a series of rhinestones outlining where the pastel polish ends and the nude polish begins. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Serena Williams Wore Koala Nail Art at the Australian Open," 24 Jan. 2020 Sweethearts, the pastel candy hearts with romantic messages that have become synonymous with Valentine’s Day, are back after a year-long hiatus — but die-hard fans will note a few significant changes. Cady Lang, Time, "Valentine’s Sweethearts Candies Are Making a Comeback This Year But They Won’t Be the Same," 16 Jan. 2020 Instead, the colour scheme would be pastel to exude a sophisticated vibe. Parul Bhandari, Quartz India, "How Delhi’s super-rich housewives strive to be part of a global elite," 9 Jan. 2020 Those white and pastel dots, lozenges, and capsules embedded, along with myriad color images, in layers of clear resin are in fact pills—straight out of a prescription bottle. David Colman, ELLE Decor, "Art Show: Fred Tomaselli," 1 Nov. 2010 What was once a dark and intimate dining space is now awash in pleasant pastel colors, pale pink walls with soft blue chairs and white stools filling the relatively small space. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "This Euro-Asian cafe on Bardstown Road serves stellar fries, a standout on disjointed menu," 8 Jan. 2020 In it, Cannon delivers the pastel costume to a woman sipping a fruity beverage at what appears to be a beachside mansion. Leah Rocketto, Woman's Day, "Who Is The Pink Monster On 'The Masked Singer'? Fans Are Already Guessing," 3 Jan. 2020 Wilson’s pretty, pastel style has an avid following in the South—and relocated within a matter of months. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "5 Tricks for Sprucing Up an Outdated House," 30 Dec. 2019 The clearer, more pastel tones to represent the steady, calm personality of Elizabeth. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Crown's Costume Designer on Dressing Princess Margaret Like Elizabeth Taylor," 20 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pastel.' 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 pastel


1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pastel


French, from Italian pastello, from Late Latin pastellus woad, from diminutive of pasta

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Time Traveler for pastel

Time Traveler

The first known use of pastel was in 1612

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Statistics for pastel

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pastel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pastel


How to pronounce pastel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pastel

: a type of chalk made from a powdery substance that is used for drawing and comes in many different colors
: a drawing that is done using pastels
: a pale or light color


pas·​tel | \ pa-ˈstel How to pronounce pastel (audio) \

Kids Definition of pastel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a soft pale color
2 : a crayon made by mixing ground coloring matter with a watery solution of a gum
3 : a drawing made with pastels



Kids Definition of pastel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made with pastels
2 : light and pale in color a pastel blouse

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Comments on pastel

What made you want to look up pastel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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