General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun a special paste used for repairing minor panel imperfections, e.g. chips or scratches on the filled surface; it is used after normal filling and gives an extremely smooth surface


  • A dough-like mixture of pigment and vehicle, used to set glass in window frames and fill nail holes and cracks.

Real Estate

  • noun a paste with the consistency of dough, made from linseed oil and powdered chalk, used to fix glass into wooden window frames and to fill holes in wood
  • noun a thin paste of lime, water and sand or plaster of Paris used as a finishing coat on plaster
  • verb to fix windows into wooden frames, or fill holes in wood, using putty

Origin & History of “putty”

Etymologically, putty is something that comes from a pot. It was borrowed from French potée ‘contents of a pot’, a derivative of pot ‘pot’. By the time English acquired it, it had come to be applied to a powder made from heated tin, used by jewellers for polishing, and for a cement made from lime and water, used as a top coating on plasterboth substances made in pots. The latter led on in English in the 18th century to the now familiar application to the window-pane sealant.