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 (ĭm-păs′tō, -pä′stō)
n. pl. im·pas·tos
1. The application of thick layers of pigment to a canvas or other surface in painting.
2. The paint so applied.

[Italian, from impastare, to make into a paste : in-, in (from Latin; see in-2) + pasta, paste (from Late Latin; see paste1).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Art Terms) paint applied thickly, so that brush and palette knife marks are evident
2. (Art Terms) the technique of applying paint in this way
[C18: from Italian, from impastare; see impaste]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪmˈpæs toʊ, -ˈpɑ stoʊ)

1. the laying on of paint thickly.
2. the paint so laid on.
3. enamel or slip applied to a ceramic object to form a decoration in low relief.
[1775–85; < Italian, n. derivative of impastare to impaste]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. In painting, the thick application of paint.
2. In ceramics, the application of enamel or slip to a ceramic object to form a decoration in low relief.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.impasto - painting that applies the pigment thickly so that brush or palette knife marks are visible
painting - creating a picture with paints; "he studied painting and sculpture for many years"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Deeply affected but not intimidated, the artist depicts the turmoil in Tibet with bold strokes and thick impastos of oil on canvas.
The front room was all yellow--eight serial panels of whorls and sunbursts and two larger canvases featuring thick impastos of lemon-colored paint applied largely by brush, with T-shirts flattened into the goo as if crucified.
In the same room, I admired Andrzej Zielinski's small paintings of mundane objects like laptops, each suspiring an unnamable, "existential" persona, all rendered in the absurdly dense impastos reminiscent of postwar European art informel and tachist artists like Soulages, Mathieu, and Fautrier.
Included in her recent exhibition "Salty Air," these pictures are typical of Schulnik's candy-colored impastos of marginal, otherworldly characters.
In Everyone's Momma, 2013, 'Taylor's maternal heroine, accompanied by a horse, coheres from a meeting of quick acrylic strokes, thick impastos, and paint drippings to appear in the foreground below crude renderings of two churches.