Definition of passepartout in English:



  • 1A picture or photograph mounted between a piece of glass and a sheet of card (or two pieces of glass) stuck together at the edges with adhesive tape.

    • ‘At Halbe you have a choice of five colours and a variety of thicknesses. You can choose between 1.5 and 3 mm thick passepartouts’
    • ‘You find here vendors of Cardboard for passepartouts from Germany and Russia.’
    1. 1.1mass noun Adhesive tape or paper used in making a passepartout frame.
      ‘a looking glass of passepartout and blackened mercury’
  • 2archaic A master key.


Late 17th century: from French, literally ‘passes everywhere’.