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pasta (n.)

a generic name for Italian dough-based foods such as spaghetti, macaroni, etc., 1874, but not common in English until after World War II, from Italian pasta, from Late Latin pasta "dough, pastry cake, paste," from Greek pasta "barley porridge," probably originally "a salted mess of food," from neuter plural of pastos (adj.) "sprinkled, salted," from passein "to sprinkle," from PIE root *kwet- "to shake" (see quash).

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Definitions of pasta from WordNet

pasta (n.)
a dish that contains pasta as its main ingredient;
pasta (n.)
shaped and dried dough made from flour and water and sometimes egg;
Synonyms: alimentary paste
From wordnet.princeton.edu