1. A mixture of lime or gypsum, sand, and water, sometimes with fiber added, that hardens to a smooth solid and is used for coating walls and ceilings.
2. Plaster of Paris.
3. A pastelike mixture applied to a part of the body for healing or cosmetic purposes.
4. Chiefly British An adhesive bandage.
v. plas·tered, plas·ter·ing, plas·ters
1. To cover, coat, or repair with plaster.
2. To cover or hide with or as if with a coat of plaster: plastered over our differences.
3. To apply a plaster to: plaster an aching muscle.
a. To cover conspicuously, as with things pasted on; overspread: plaster the walls with advertising.
b. To affix conspicuously, usually with a paste: plaster notices on all the doors.
5. To make smooth by applying a sticky substance: plaster one's hair with pomade.
6. To make adhere to another surface: "His hair was plastered to his forehead" (William Golding).
a. To inflict heavy damage or injury on.
b. To defeat decisively.
To apply plaster.
[Middle English, from Old English, medical dressing, and from Old French plastre, cementing material, both from Latin emplastrum, medical dressing, from Greek emplastron, from emplassein, to plaster on : en-, in, on; see EN-2 + plassein, to mold; see pelə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.