plaster

Definitions

General English

  • noun a mixture of sand and a white substance called ‘lime’, which is mixed with water and used for covering the inside walls of houses
  • noun a white substance which becomes hard when it dries, used to cover a broken arm or leg and hold it in place

Construction

  • A cementitious material or combination of cementitious material and aggregate that, when mixed with a suitable amount of water, forms a plastic mass or paste. When applied to a surface, the paste adheres to it and subsequently hardens, preserving in a rigid state the form or texture imposed during the period of elasticity.
  • The placed and hardened mixture created as in definition 1 above. See also stucco.

Medical

  • noun a white powder which is mixed with water and used to make a solid support to cover a broken limb

Real Estate

  • noun a mixture of lime, sand and water that is applied as a liquid paste to the ceilings and internal walls of a building and dries to a hard surface
  • verb to apply plaster to the interior walls and ceilings of a building

Origin & History of “plaster”

like plastic, plaster comes ultimately from the Greek verb plássein ‘mould’. Combination with the prefix en- ‘in’ produced emplássein ‘daub on, plaster’. From its past participle emplastós was derived émplastron ‘medicinal application to the skin’, which reached Latin as emplastrum. Medieval Latin shortened it to plastrum, which Old English adopted as plaster. Its use for a ‘soft substance spread on walls, etc’ was introduced via Old French plastre in the 14th century.
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