Definition of pewter in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their enterprise really began to grow after they switched from silver to pewter, an alloy of lead and tin.’
    • ‘Modern pewter is mostly tarnish-resistant alloys of about 90% tin with antimony or copper.’
    • ‘The traditional alloy of pewter most widely used into the 17th Century consisted of tin and copper with small amounts of other elements.’
    1. 1.1 Utensils made of pewter.
      ‘the kitchen pewter’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Over the centuries the techniques of making all forms of metal ware: pewter, copper, brass and bronze, iron and steel, have varied.’
    2. 1.2 A shade of bluish or silver gray.
      ‘looking back at that pewter sky’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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