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1[mass noun] A brownish-yellow pigment made from the soot of burnt wood.
- ‘It is a drawing in bister and reed pen on paper with no watermark.’
- ‘De los Reyes has created new bister on paper works, stainless steel sculptures and exquisite monochromatic paintings in this exciting follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2005 exhibition.’
- ‘The color of bistre varies with the wood from which the soot was derived, but in general it has a warm, transparent brown tone.’
- 1.1A brownish-yellow colour.
- ‘The colors on French colonial stamps are often brilliant and in unusual combinations: fuchsia and turquoise, blue and orange, purple and bistre.’
- ‘Conté sticks and pencils are available in a wide range of colours including the traditional black, white, sepia, bistre and sanguine.’
- ‘By little and little, the surface of the plate takes a yellow tint, which darkens more and more, approaching to bistre.’
Early 18th century: from French, of unknown origin.
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