late Old English plaster "a medicinal solid compounded for external application," from medical Latin plastrum, shortened by loss of the original prefix from Latin emplastrum "a plaster" (in the medical as well as the building sense), from Greek emplastron "salve, plaster" (used by Galen instead of the more usual emplaston), noun use of neuter of emplastos "daubed on," from en- "on" + plastos "molded," verbal adjective from plassein "to mold" (see plasma).
The use in reference to the material composed of lime, water, and sand (with or without hair for binding), used for coating walls, is recorded in English from c. 1300, via Old French plastre, from the same source, and in early use the English word often had the French spelling. The meaning "gypsum" is from late 14c.; plaster of Paris "powdered calcinated (heat-dried) gypsum," which sets rapidly and expands when mixed with water(mid-15c.) originally was made from the extensive gypsum deposits of Montmartre in Paris. Plaster saint "person who makes a hypocritical show of virtue" is by 1890.
early 14c., "to cover or overlay (walls) with plaster;" late 14c., "to coat with a medicative plaster," from plaster (n.) and partly from Old French plastrier "to cover with plaster" (Modern French plâtrer), from plastre. Figurative use, "to load to excess" (with praise, etc.), is from c. 1600. Meaning "to bomb (a target) heavily" is first recorded 1915. Sports sense of "to defeat decisively" is from 1919. as an adjective, plastered is from late 14c. as "coated with plaster." The slang meaning "very drunk" is attested by 1912.
also shin-plaster, piece of paper soaked in vinegar, etc. and used by the poor as a home remedy to treat sores on the legs, the thing itself attested by 1771; from shin (n.) + plaster (n.). In U.S. history, it became a jocular phrase or slang term of abuse for devalued low-denomination paper currency (by 1817).
1876, "coat or varnish with shellac," from shellac (n.). The slang sense of "beat soundly" is by 1930 (implied in shellacked), perhaps from the notion of shellac as a "finish." Slang shellacked "drunk" is listed in "Dialect Notes" in 1922 (compare plastered under plaster (v.)). Related: Shellacking.
also piastre, 1620s, "Spanish dollar, piece of eight," also used as the name of a monetary unit and coin of Turkey (1610s, in Turkish called ghurush, but originally debased Spanish dollars), from French piastre, from Italian piastra "thin metal plate," short for impiastro "plaster," from Latin emplastrum, from Greek emplastron (see plaster (n.)). The Italian word was applied to the Spanish silver peso, later to the Turkish coin based on it. Compare shinplaster.
*pelə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "flat; to spread."
It forms all or part of: airplane; dysplasia; ectoplasm; effleurage; esplanade; explain; explanation; feldspar; field; flaneur; floor; llano; palm (n.1) "flat of the hand;" palm (n.2) "tropical tree;" palmy; piano; pianoforte; plain; plan; planar; Planaria; plane (n.1) "flat surface;" plane (n.3) "tool for smoothing surfaces;" plane (v.2) "soar, glide on motionless wings;" planet; plani-; planisphere; plano-; -plasia; plasma; plasmid; plasm; -plasm; -plast; plaster; plastic; plastid; -plasty; Polack; Poland; Pole; polka; protoplasm; veldt.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek plassein "to mold," plasma "something molded or created;" Latin planus "flat, level, even, plain, clear;" Lithuanian plonas "thin;" Celtic *lanon "plain;" Old Church Slavonic polje "flat land, field," Russian polyi "open;" Old English feld, Middle Dutch veld "field."
a mass or surface of plaster, especially as a ground for a painting, 1590s, from Italian gesso, from Latin gypsum "plaster" (see gypsum).
substance (hydrated calcium sulphate) used in making plaster, late 14c., from Latin gypsum, from Greek gypsos "chalk," according to Klein, a word perhaps of Semitic origin (compare Arabic jibs, Hebrew gephes "plaster").
late 14c., dauben, "to smear with soft, adhesive matter, to plaster or whitewash a wall" (Dauber as a surname is recorded from mid-13c.), from Old French dauber "to whitewash, plaster" (13c.), perhaps from Latin dealbare, from de-, here probably meaning "thoroughly," + albare "to whiten," from albus "white" (see alb).
From 1590s as "to dress or adorn (a person) without style or taste." Painting sense is from 1620s. Related: Daubed; daubing, daubery. As a noun from mid-15c. as "daubing material, cheap kind of mortar;" 1761 as "inartistic painting."