pas·​tiche pa-ˈstēsh How to pronounce pastiche (audio)
: a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work that imitates the style of previous work
His building designs are pastiches based on classical forms.
also : such stylistic imitation
: a musical, literary, or artistic composition made up of selections from different works : potpourri
The research paper was essentially a pastiche made up of passages from different sources.
: hodgepodge
The house is decorated in a pastiche of Asian styles.
pasticheur noun

Did you know?

It all began with macaroni. Our word pastiche is from French, but the French word was in turn borrowed from Italian, where the word is pasticcio. Pasticcio is what the Italians called a kind of "macaroni pie" (from the word pasta). English-speakers familiar with this multilayered dish had begun to apply the name to various sorts of potpourris or hodgepodges (musical, literary, or otherwise) by the 18th century. For over a hundred years English speakers were happy with pasticcio, until we discovered the French word pastiche sometime in the latter part of the 1800s. Although we still occasionally use pasticcio in its extended meaning, "pastiche" is now much more common.

Examples of pastiche in a Sentence

His earlier building designs were pastiches based on classical forms. With this work she goes beyond pastiche. The research paper was essentially a pastiche made up of passages from different sources. The house is decorated in a pastiche of Asian styles.
Recent Examples on the Web The character became a bit more innocent, and the world became more of a pastiche of the Rankin/Bass films. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 The music videos were a similar pastiche of romantic narratives turned upside down and knowing nods to a generation’s obsession with celebrity. Raisa Bruner, TIME, 26 Oct. 2023 Recently it has been dogged by controversy over whether its lead character is intended to be an accurate representation of one of Korean film pioneers – or merely a pastiche. Patrick Frater, Variety, 1 Oct. 2023 Put through the blender of a machine, Salle’s art becomes a remix: a pastiche of pastiches. Zachary Small, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 The tastings include an interesting vegan pastiche made from seaweed. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2023 Laufey happily splits the difference between acknowledging that there is a big throwback aspect to this and then throwing away some of the things that would mark her music as pastiche. Chris Willman, Variety, 19 Sep. 2023 Assisted by her main producer, Dan Nigro, the music alternated between quiet-then-heavy ballads and upbeat pastiches of punk and emo classics. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 8 Sep. 2023 Their music could sound right at home next to LPs like Cold Sun’s Dark Shadows or the Golden Dawn’s Power Plant because their approach isn’t a gimmick or hollow pastiche. Dash Lewis, Spin, 9 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pastiche.' 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 Italian pasticcio

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pastiche was in 1866


Dictionary Entries Near pastiche

Cite this Entry

“Pastiche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on pastiche

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