Definition of pewter in US English:



  • 1A gray alloy of tin with copper and antimony (formerly, tin and lead).

    • ‘Their enterprise really began to grow after they switched from silver to pewter, an alloy of lead and tin.’
    • ‘The reproduction industry did not focus attention on wrought iron as it did on pewter, brass and copper.’
    • ‘Originally, pewter was defined as an alloy of tin and lead, but to avoid toxicity and dullness of finish, lead is excluded from modern pewter.’
    • ‘The traditional alloy of pewter most widely used into the 17th Century consisted of tin and copper with small amounts of other elements.’
    • ‘Modern pewter is mostly tarnish-resistant alloys of about 90% tin with antimony or copper.’
    1. 1.1 Utensils made of pewter.
      ‘the kitchen pewter’
      • ‘Over the centuries the techniques of making all forms of metal ware: pewter, copper, brass and bronze, iron and steel, have varied.’
      • ‘Byard arranged for many shipments of antique furniture, brass, and pewter to be sent to Shelburne for Webb to consider for purchase.’
      • ‘Both the pewter and Sheffield Plate collections benefited from large bequests particularly that of Colonel Croft Lyons.’
    2. 1.2 A shade of bluish or silver gray.
      ‘looking back at that pewter sky’
      • ‘Exterior finishes are available in polished brass, antique brass, brushed nickel, pewter, satin black and matte gold tones.’
      • ‘The redhead looked around, the slowly rising moon casting him all silver and pewter and bronze.’
      • ‘It is sapphire against the pale silver wash of the sky and pewter against the amber of the towering hills that he adds in next.’
      • ‘Snow swirled around them in little eddies, and the sky was the flat dark grey of pewter.’
      • ‘There was no bridge, but flat ferry-rafts winched their way across it on heavy cables, and icy, slate-gray water gurgled under a dull, pewter sky.’


Middle English: from Old French peutre, of unknown origin.