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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lush vegetation, tropical motifs, and pastel colors also dominate the public areas. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 15 Apr. 2022 Along with crocuses and daffodils, fluffy bunnies and chicks and pastel colors popping up everywhere, spring is the season when the sunny spheres of eggs take center stage. Casey Barber, CNN, 15 Apr. 2022 Their home blends multiple styles: uncluttered white space and warm woods popular in Scandinavian design, the Bauhaus-beloved Wassily chair, and 1980s elements including pastel colors, rounded profiles, and ceramic vases. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Apr. 2022 Bold brights can be a good time, but there’s something intrinsically romantic about a powdery pastel. Nicole Kliest, Vogue, 1 May 2022 These bunk beds by Cortney Bishop Design have a pastel green and white palette. Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 1 May 2022 Large scale, pastel colored oil paintings, in the German artist’s trademark style that blends abstraction and figuration, are a startling contrast to the heritage building. Joanne Shurvell, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Among the borough’s elegant pastel mansions, Sommerro is set to open in September. James Stewart, Robb Report, 23 Apr. 2022 Sundays' pale yet vivid take on the color, L.05 ($18), is begging to become the signature pedicure shade of anyone who loves a splashy pastel. Marci Robin, Allure, 23 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Suggested Instagram posts for buzzy beauty start-ups with pastel interiors fill my feed. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 13 May 2022 In the visually arresting video, the singer is seen in a lush landscape wearing pretty, flowing pastel outfits, aptly capturing the season and embracing spring fever. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 6 May 2022 The sheet set is available in a whopping 22 colors, most of which are soft pastel hues that are perfect for spring. Isabel Garcia,, 13 Apr. 2022 The property is now part of the Airelles collection of hotels, with 108 rooms and suites decorated by Christophe Tollemer in soft, pastel hues and vintage furnishings as part of a total renovation. Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2022 Available in six colors, the pillow comes in a mix of jewel tones and pastel hues that match any decor style. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Oct. 2021 McCartney began the song strumming a guitar with a swirl of pastel colors on the screen behind him and then elicited gasps of elation when mid-way through when Lennon’s voice came in for his verse as Macca turned toward the screen to watch. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 29 Apr. 2022 Don’t discount the appearance of the pastel colors from the iMac range making an appearance to push the fashion angle of the MacBook Air. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 Or go for a pastel floral-print dress—an ideal option for dressy daytime occasions. Vogue, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near pastel

paste grain


pastel blue

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Statistics for pastel

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pastel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pastel


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

More from Merriam-Webster on pastel

Nglish: Translation of pastel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pastel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pastel


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