late Old English plaster "medicinal application," from Vulgar Latin plastrum, shortened from Latin emplastrum "a plaster" (in the medical as well as the building sense), from Greek emplastron "salve, plaster" (used by Galen instead of 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 building construction material is first recorded in English c. 1300, via Old French plastre, from the same source, and in early use the English word often had the French spelling.
"to coat with plaster," early 14c., from plaster (n.) and partly Old French plastrier "to cover with plaster" (Modern French plâtrer), from plastre. Related: Plastered; plastering. Figurative use from c. 1600. Meaning "to bomb (a target) heavily" is first recorded 1915. Sports sense of "to defeat decisively" is from 1919.
plaster of Paris
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