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pastel (n.)

1660s, "crayons, chalk-like pigment used in crayons," from French pastel "crayon," from Italian pastello "a pastel," literally "material reduced to a paste," probably from Late Latin pastellus, diminutive of pasta "dough, paste" (see pasta). The word was applied to pale or light colors (like that of pastels) by 1899. As an adjective from 1884.

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