• WordNet 3.6
    • adj pastel delicate and pale in color "pastel pink"
    • adj pastel lacking in body or vigor "faded pastel charms of the naive music"
    • n pastel any of various pale or light colors
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Pastel A crayon made of a paste composed of a color ground with gum water. "Charming heads in pastel ."
    • Pastel (Bot) A plant affording a blue dye; the woad (Isatis tinctoria); also, the dye itself.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pastel The plant woad, Isatis tinctoria; also, the blue dye obtained from it.
    • n pastel In art: A colored crayon made of pigments ground with chalk, and compounded with gum-water into a sort of paste.
    • n pastel A drawing made with colored chalks or crayons; also, the art of drawing with colored crayons.
    • n pastel Figuratively, a short prose study, poetic, picturesque, but sketchy.
    • n pastel In textiles, a soft half-faded tint in fabrics used for dress-materials: so called from its resemblance to the tones of old pastel drawings.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pastel pas′tel chalk mixed with other materials and various colours for crayons, a drawing made with such, also the art: woad
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F.; cf. It. pastello,. Cf. Pastil
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. pastel—It. pastello—L. pastillus, a small loaf—pascĕre, pastum, to feed.


In literature:

It was a white ground with garlands of flowers in soft pastel shades near the ceiling.
"The Heart of Arethusa" by Francis Barton Fox
One artist is just completing a portrait of me in pastels.
"The Better Germany in War Time" by Harold Picton
In the panelling on the return side, a pastel of a lady in the dress of the period of Louis XV.
"Bouvard and Pécuchet" by Gustave Flaubert
In the latter case they serve as pastels for a variety of art purposes.
"Studies of American Fungi. Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, etc." by George Francis Atkinson
His delicate pastel portraits obtained great vogue in the most aristocratic circles of London.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
She commenced to play pastel-toned bits of Nevin and Chaminade, her clear eyes delighting in free vision.
"From the Car Behind" by Eleanor M. Ingram
For the first time he saw the awing vastness of the desert, and the soft pastel shades which made their desolation beautiful.
"'Me-Smith'" by Caroline Lockhart
Good food, good drinks, the pastels of the walls, the soft lights and weird, exotic music.
"Empire" by Clifford Donald Simak
Then there were things to see, illumined by a faint half-light to which color was coming; a faint, pastel color that seemed a rose-glow.
"The World Beyond" by Raymond King Cummings
This was painted from life in pastel, by William Williams, at Philadelphia in 1794.
"Washington's Masonic Correspondence" by Julius F. Sachse
The scene seemed drawn in flat delicate tones of pastel.
"Tante" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
See Pastells's Colin, iii, pp.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898, Volume XXXVI, 1649–1666" by Various
With seven, ambers and misty wraps are charged in pastel tones celebrating the arrival of eight.
"The Land of Look Behind" by Paul Cameron Brown
Besides the two pastels I made of Her Majesty, I did two others of Prince Ferdinand's family.
"The Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun" by Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun
His microscopic masterpieces form but a brief bundle of pastels.
"Historia Amoris: A History of Love, Ancient and Modern" by Edgar Saltus
I hear he's painting in pastel now.
"The Head Girl at the Gables" by Angela Brazil
Didn't have a single pastel shade in my trunks!
"The Competitive Nephew" by Montague Glass
The scarlet of her dress, through long use, had taken on the soft texture of a pastel.
"Carnival" by Compton Mackenzie
Meanwhile she had changed her pastel frock for another, which, if a bit rumpled in transit, became her wonderfully well.
"The Perfume of Eros: A Fifth Avenue Incident" by Edgar Saltus
Her small, prettily shaped mouth was pastel pink.
"Shadows of Flames" by Amelie Rives

In poetry:

He festered in a Marseilles slum,
A starving genius, god-inspired.
You'd take him for a lousy bum,
Tho' poetry of paint he lyred,
In dreamy pastels each a gem: . . .
How people laughed at them!
"A Canvas For A Crust" by Robert W Service
Here speaks the laureate of a little throng,
The young Licentius whose deft art confers
Some grace upon the later Latin song—
Waxwork, not marble, in hexameters,
Drawing in colours, soft but soon to cease,
A pastel, not a proud old masterpiece.
"A Minor Latin Poet Improving Virgil" by Archbishop William Alexander

In news:

Pastel Sunset Click to enlarge.
Last season's primary colors give way to pastels and Easter egg shades in straight, bootcut, and ankle silhouettes.
Meet her Monday, March 19, 10 am to 5 pm, to see her watercolor and pastel paintings.
Elizabeth Sandia, Back to Back, pastel, 8 x 10.
Blue Sky Over Colorado, pastel, 16 x 22.
Artist displays pastels at Presbyterian Home.
STEVEN ALFORD/CALLER-TIMES The décor of Citrus Bayfront Bistro at the Art Center of Corpus Christi boasts bright pastel walls, lively paintings by local artists and wide views of the marina.
The walls are painted in pastel shades of yellow and green above white paneled wainscoting.
Think of what emotionally moving oil pastel drawings of a Duluth childhood might be like.
It's a poignant collection of oil pastel drawings envisioning a childhood summer in Duluth.
"I knew pastels were going to be a big trend so I let that inspire the shoot," Love says.
Pamela Poll, Eggplant Duo, pastel, 10 x 8.
Financier Leon Black Paid Nearly $120 Million for Munch Pastel at May Auction.
The resurgence of pastels this spring is a welcome change from the previous neon domination.
Of course for the spring holiday, they have pretty pastel jewelry for your wrist.

In science:

Among the most controversial observed parameter is the effective temperature (T eff ) which can vary by more than 200 K for metal-poor stars from one method to another (see the PASTEL catalogue, Soubiran et al. 2010).
Fundamental properties of the Population II fiducial stars HD 122563 and Gmb 1830 from CHARA interferometric observations
The PASTEL catalogue of stellar atmospheric parameters (“PASTEL,” Soubiran et al., 2010) is a compilation containing metallicities from over 450 separate sources. The data is not homogeneous and is of variable quality.
XHIP: An Extended Hipparcos Compilation
Points in pastel colours are corrected to the continuum using the ChPTFV ansatz, and in bold colours by the analytic ansatz.
Continuum Results for Light Hadronic Quantities using Domain Wall Fermions with the Iwasaki and DSDR Gauge Actions