Definition of plaster in English:



  • 1A soft mixture of lime with sand or cement and water for spreading on walls, ceilings, or other structures to form a smooth hard surface when dried.

    • ‘Drywall can be used to cover conventional bare stud walls or damaged lath and plaster walls.’
    • ‘Mineral fiber tile ceilings have replaced plaster and wallboard ceilings.’
    • ‘This demolition exposed ‘stripes’ of structure throughout the existing plaster walls and ceilings.’
    • ‘In addition to a softer color, color washing can accentuate the texture of your plaster or stucco walls.’
    • ‘Since you mentioned that your walls are plaster as opposed to drywall, this makes things a little easier.’
    • ‘The pale green plaster fireplace wall of the master bedroom includes niches for books and artwork.’
    • ‘The only function of plaster on walls and ceilings, unless it is itself elaborately decorative, is to serve as a smooth surface on which to place decorative paper or paint.’
    • ‘Ceiling medallions over 20 inches in diameter and all plaster ceiling medallions require mechanical fastening.’
    • ‘Joists are the framing members in the ceiling that the plaster or drywall is attached to.’
    • ‘Wall materials such as stucco, cement, brick, plaster, stone, and block are most resistant to high temperatures.’
    • ‘Across the hall is a spacious drawing room with a large bay window, ornate marble fireplace, decorative plaster coving and ceiling rose.’
    • ‘Cracks gaped in building walls, and chunks of plaster fell from ceilings.’
    • ‘Gouges or holes in the walls must be repaired with wall board compound, spackle, or patching plaster.’
    • ‘The floor is wood, the ceiling is gypsum board, and the walls are part plaster on masonry and part gypsum board on randomly spaced framing.’
    • ‘The nature of their decoration, whether by painted plaster on walls or ceilings, or by tessellated and mosaic floors, compares well with that from the countryside.’
    • ‘With its high ceiling and original ornamental plaster coving, marble fireplace, vast mirror and chandelier, it could be the set for a period drama.’
    • ‘If you are nailing over a lath and plaster ceiling, longer nails may be needed.’
    • ‘The storage room has exposed brick and plaster walls, a stone floor and an unusual ox's harness chandelier.’
    • ‘Both rooms have been stylishly decorated to highlight period features such as marble fireplaces and decorative plaster ceilings.’
    • ‘To make such a rectangular and austere space appropriate for music, walls are treated with acoustic plaster and ceilings are absorbent too.’
    plasterwork, stucco
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A hard white substance made by the addition of water to powdered and partly dehydrated gypsum, used for holding broken bones in place and making sculptures and casts.
      • ‘Calcium is also used to make drywall and plaster of Paris (calcium sulfate).’
      • ‘There, children are busy making soft toys, painting pots and murals, making things out of clay, plaster of Paris, creating collages, paper flowers, etc.’
      • ‘Basic items such as gloves, mosquito nets, stationery, plaster of Paris and cleaning fluids are often out of stock.’
      • ‘Once the design is selected, a dough made of ceramic powder, plaster of Paris, cotton and glue is shaped accordingly.’
      • ‘We filled the pole void with plaster of Paris, and we now have a clear idea of what it actually looked like.’
      • ‘A replica of the assembly in clay and plaster of Paris in the museum gives you a pithy idea about the people, their dress and social standing.’
      • ‘The splint can be made with various materials ranging from thin metal to plaster of Paris.’
      • ‘Positive casts are also made of plaster of Paris.’
      • ‘We gave them a bottle of water so they could make a plaster of Paris cast for a kid who had broken his arm.’
      • ‘Mix up some plaster of Paris with the water in the paper cup, stirring until smooth with the Popsicle stick.’
      • ‘But now, he often works in the same place with simple materials such as plaster of Paris, coir fibre and gunny cloth, things that charm him forever.’
      • ‘Although it provides a durable interior surface, gypsum plaster is too water soluble to use on exterior walls.’
      • ‘Her artisans generally use plaster of Paris, though she does use stone dust, fibreglass and bronze on request.’
      • ‘Specialist mold makers created master patterns, which were used to fabricate working molds in plaster of Paris.’
      • ‘They worked like dogs and saved up and made a plaster of Paris mould of the farm to show the boys what their new home looked like.’
      • ‘Against the plaster of Paris, he has used stone oxide powder, a more sophisticated material, that gives a refined finishing and a sturdy look to the end product.’
      • ‘For pieces with intricate designs, moulds of plaster of Paris are used.’
      • ‘The root was fixed in position with a small quantity of plaster of Paris, and the whole seedling was covered loosely with the wetted soil.’
      • ‘Variations on sugar paste, more or less inedible, include starch or plaster of Paris amongst their ingredients, and are intended purely for decoration.’
      • ‘Then, another set of plaster of Paris molds were created.’
      plaster of paris, gypsum
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2The powder from which plaster is made.
      • ‘Mother had inadvertently used plaster of Paris instead of flour.’
      • ‘I watch her sifting plaster of Paris through her fingers as she sprinkles it slowly onto limp water.’
      • ‘Mix dry plaster of Paris with water until you have a thick, pudding-like consistency.’
  • 2dated A bandage on which a poultice or liniment is spread for application.

    • ‘Medicated gauze, alcohol cotton balls or dermatitis plasters are also necessary.’
    • ‘Lotions, plasters, and ointments sold at the store can sometimes be used to remove a wart.’
    • ‘These agents could be used in a pure form but are best utilized in concoctions, plasters, poultices, packs, washes or fumigants.’
    • ‘It is usually followed by herbal plasters and poultices called lepa to help draw toxins out of the pores of the skin.’
    • ‘The company has developed a patented technology, m-doc, which is used as an anti-bleeding ingredient in plasters.’
    1. 2.1British An adhesive strip of material for covering cuts and wounds.
      • ‘Great care must be taken, especially with the fitting of plasters, to prevent chafing and subsequent ulcer formation elsewhere on the foot or ankle.’
      • ‘Frequently he would return to the ward at night to check a plaster or that a tourniquet had not been left in situ inadvertently.’
      • ‘He was in a body plaster for four months, and it was a while before he returned to trumpet playing.’
      • ‘I applied special plasters to the suppurating wounds there.’
      • ‘If you have a verruca, cover it with a plaster when you go swimming.’
      • ‘If you cut, scratch or break your skin in any way, make sure the wound is cleaned, treated with antiseptic, and covered with a plaster or dressing if necessary.’
      • ‘I think my first aid kit is entirely made up of big plasters.’
      • ‘For minor cuts and grazes, washing them well and covering them with a plaster or dressing is usually all that is needed.’
      • ‘What I did get from her was a sticky plaster to put on my wound to stop the bleeding.’
      • ‘The plasters cost E2 and contain five large and five small adhesive dressings, which are useful to everyone.’
      • ‘It comes in a stylish plastic case and includes a foil blanket, gloves, cleansing wipes, dressings and plasters.’
      • ‘Make sure you have a good supply of plasters and other first-aid equipment handy.’
      • ‘A few plasters on my forehead had stopped the bleeding.’
      • ‘But these are like applying plasters to gaping wounds.’
      • ‘The injuries were treated conservatively with below-knee plasters.’
      • ‘By 6pm he, with a plaster covering his war wound, appeared live to tell the nation about his close encounter on the mean streets of Dublin.’
      • ‘If you're super-organised, your list should also include plasters, some kind of disinfectant and antihistamines or an inhaler, should you need them.’
      • ‘Waterproof plasters should be used over the wounds when showering.’
      • ‘This includes covering cuts and broken skin with waterproof plasters and washing hands frequently and thoroughly.’
      • ‘In addition to medicines, it might be worth investing in a small first-aid kit, containing plasters, dressings, tweezers and the like.’
      sticking plaster, adhesive dressing, dressing, bandage
      View synonyms


  • 1 Cover (a wall, ceiling, or other structure) with plaster.

    • ‘Inside, the walls were all plastered and painted pale colours with cream carpets - very novel for the early 1970s in Ireland.’
    • ‘There are a couple of possible scenarios here that depend on how your wall was plastered.’
    • ‘Over time, plaster walls and ceilings may develop stress-cracks.’
    • ‘The stone walls were plastered and colorfully painted, and there was a fireplace on the central wall.’
    • ‘The brick walls were plastered over with lime of which some traces can be seen.’
    • ‘To prepare for finished floors it was necessary to plaster the walls of the hall.’
    • ‘Behind an apparently innocent piece of wall was a secret doorway that had been plastered over and sealed.’
    • ‘Meanwhile there is a real danger that Scotland is becoming a place where everyone has a degree, but nobody can fix your sink or plaster your wall.’
    • ‘They were doing some renovation work in some rooms, and in one, a worker was plastering the ceiling.’
    • ‘The occupants say the walls are already cracked and the builders did not finish the floors or plaster the walls.’
    • ‘Almost always, the walls are plastered and whitewashed.’
    • ‘The DIY project involved creating ten special bays where students could learn skills ranging from wiring a plug to plastering a wall, she added.’
    • ‘However, the outside walls were never plastered and asbestos was the material used for the roof.’
    • ‘The high ceiling and the upper walls were plastered and whitewashed, a brilliant white in the illumination from skylights.’
    • ‘The more familiar you are with your materials, and the larger you make your test patches, the fewer the surprises you'll find when plastering the walls for real.’
    • ‘They've had a call from the tenant who says that the shower is leaking into the apartment below and he thinks it's because the surrounding walls are plastered, not tiled.’
    • ‘The sloped ceilings were plastered, the cream plaster discolored in places, completely broken away in others.’
    • ‘I have plastered the kitchen ceiling and have not even charged her for it.’
    • ‘Much to the surprise of the construction crew, all the interior walls were plastered and given a coat of white.’
    • ‘The brick walls will be plastered and painted and there will be improvements to toilets and disabled access with work starting in the next few weeks.’
    • ‘My walls and ceiling were plastered and at some point covered with wallpaper.’
    cover thickly, smother, spread, smear, cake, coat, daub, bedaub, overlay
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Coat or cover something with (a substance), especially to an extent considered excessive.
      ‘a face plastered in heavy makeup’
      • ‘Both sexes are plastered with band logos on bags, T-shirts, patches - Slipknot, Korn, The Deftones.’
      • ‘At an exhibition in the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham earlier this year, she recreated Stroke by plastering the walls of one room with chocolate.’
      • ‘Sainsburys really got behind Comic Relief, plastering their stores in red noses.’
      • ‘Inside the bar every available wall and doorway was plastered with ‘no smoking’ signs of varying sizes.’
      • ‘It is sponsored by beer company Tecate, and many of the vehicles are plastered with corporate logos, such as those of Honda and Red Bull.’
      • ‘Commercial Alert is appealing to journalists not to use the corporate names in sports articles - he says plastering ads in stories blurs the line between editorial and advertising.’
      • ‘Today's papers are plastered with yesterday's terror threats.’
      • ‘Campaigners also fear the wall will be plastered with offensive graffiti and the flat surface will encourage children to sit on the top, only inches from a sheer drop to the sea and rock armour below.’
      • ‘And in her front room every inch of wall space was plastered with album covers, clocks, pictures, newspaper cuttings and a large Ziggy Stardust mirror.’
      • ‘Come December every other house will be plastered in the tackiest of tacky flashing lights and we will laugh, regaling each other with sightings of aesthetic atrocities.’
    2. 1.2Make (hair) lie flat by applying a liquid to it.
      ‘his hair was plastered down with water’
      • ‘He was covered in sweat and a few rogue locks of hair were plastered to the sides of his face.’
      • ‘His black hair was plastered down with it and his shirt was sticking to him.’
      • ‘Her normally perfect ash-blonde hair was plastered to her forehead, and her cheekbones glistened in the dim light.’
      • ‘Applying the starchy goo like a setting gel, he plastered his hair into a vertical thrust.’
      • ‘His face glistened with sweat, and his hair was plastered to his forehead, sticking out in some places.’
      • ‘The rain drenched him instantly, plastering his hair to his head and soaking through his thin shirt and trousers.’
      • ‘His hair was plastered to his face, and his coat felt like it was sticking to his skin.’
      • ‘Golden waves of hair were plastered to his face, dripping beads of water that one by one glided off the strands and rolled down his back.’
      • ‘It plastered their hair to their heads as they walked down the road, and chilled them to the bone.’
      • ‘My hair was plastered to my head, and I raised my hand from instinct to fix it.’
      • ‘The rain water plastered her loose hair to her forehead.’
      • ‘His dark hair was plastered to his forehead by sweat and the general moisture in the air.’
      • ‘She was sweating hard and her hair was plastered to her face, framing it.’
      • ‘My hair was plastered down on my head and tied in a knot in the back so that it would be good and, you know, tight and flat.’
      • ‘All she knew was that when they were finally done dancing, there was sweat plastering her hair to her forehead and she was surprised it wasn't dripping down her arms.’
      • ‘The rain had plastered his hair flat onto his forehead and turned his pony tail into a slick pointy tip.’
      • ‘Rain water was dripping off my nose and my hair was plastered to my face.’
      • ‘Her hair was plastered to her face from the long walk through the rain.’
      • ‘Her hair is plastered down with only a few stray hairs escaping.’
      • ‘Water plastered my hair to my red, sweaty face and I ended up looking more like a drenched beach ball than anything else.’
      smooth down, slick down, sleek down
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Apply a plaster cast or medical plaster to (a part of the body)
      • ‘My husband took her to the camp doctor who plastered her arm.’
      • ‘Staff at Bath's Royal United Hospital are unwilling to plaster her leg because it would require giving her an anaesthetic, which could be dangerous with her heart problems.’
    4. 1.4Cover a surface with (large numbers of pictures or posters)
      ‘the store windows are plastered with posters’
      • ‘One wall is plastered with The Sopranos script.’
      • ‘He set the photo down on the light table and went over to the wall that was plastered floor to ceiling with her likeness in every way, shape and form.’
      • ‘The walls were plastered with charts and posters giving details of the daily routine, available facilities, progress of various programmes, and related information.’
      • ‘Her whole wall was plastered with her anime drawings.’
      • ‘The walls of their project rooms are soon plastered with imagery, diagrams, flow charts, and other ephemera.’
      • ‘On Thursday, officers were plastering posters in the area warning about the tough new powers.’
      • ‘While my house was plastered with black and white stills of him making a tackle or standing on the sidelines, it was not until I saw him on the screen that it all added up to greatness in my mind.’
      • ‘The workers and their supporters have plastered the factory walls with posters denouncing the closure and demanding compensation.’
      • ‘It's plastered the city with posters telling them the transition plan will take away everything that is sacred.’
      • ‘His walls were plastered with posters and memorabilia of the concerts.’
    5. 1.5Present a story or picture conspicuously and sensationally in (a newspaper or magazine)
      ‘her story was plastered all over the December issue’
      • ‘You have to wonder why he should want his life story plastered all over the daily papers.’
      • ‘His picture's plastered all over the programme.’
      • ‘Open any national newspaper and you will find her plastered all over the pages, largely on the grounds of her weight gain.’
      • ‘It flies from every third building, it is emblazoned on shop displays, plastered on the bumpers of cars, and scrawled on anti-war banners.’
      • ‘The following decades saw the surfer image plastered on billboards and glossy ads.’
      • ‘It was a light purple, with pictures of the three of us plastered everywhere.’
      • ‘The press then mysteriously get involved and it's plastered all over the front pages.’
      • ‘The villagers are wide-eyed with superstition, and crucifixes are plastered everywhere.’
      • ‘His face has been plastered on billboards just about everywhere.’
      • ‘The reason that the face is fresh in my mind is because it's plastered all over LA.’
      • ‘More letters about those ludicrous mission statements that counties seem obliged to plaster everywhere.’
      • ‘Political posters are plastered all over the walls and even on the concrete security barriers.’
      • ‘His company had plastered posters and media stories around the area telling everyone that track repair work would mean no trains that day and advertising replacement buses.’
      • ‘Seeing signs plastered everywhere has got me wondering about how it is organised, and now I know.’
      • ‘There were posters and tattoo designs plastered all over the walls.’
      • ‘How much of this explosive information was plastered across the front pages of the Australian media?’
      • ‘Why aren't stories like this plastered all over the mainstream media?’
      • ‘Her image is plastered on billboards and bedroom walls all over Korea.’
      • ‘The correspondence from them came on KPMG letterhead, with the logo plastered on every page.’
      display, exhibit, show, put on display, draw attention to, present, spread, emblazon, flaunt, parade, reveal
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6dated, informal Bomb or shell (a target) heavily.
      • ‘The support-by-fire elements plaster the T-80's area with machine gun fire and main gun rounds.’
      • ‘The enemy plastered the troops in this position, particularly from the air, where he was unmolested, and followed the bombardment by a further attack on our position.’


Old English, denoting a bandage spread with a curative substance, from medieval Latin plastrum (shortening of Latin emplastrum, from Greek emplastron daub, salve), later reinforced by the Old French noun plastre. Sense 1 dates from late Middle English.