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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A crayon made of a paste composed of a colour ground with gum water. [Sometimes incorrectly written pastil] Charming heads in pastel.

2. (Science: botany) A plant affording a blue dye; the woad (isatis tinctoria); also, the dye itself. 3. A drawing using pastel, or of a pastel shade. 4. The art or process of drawing with pastels. 5. Any of various light or pale colours. 6. A light literary work, as a sketch.

Origin: F.; cf. It. Pastello. Cf. Pastil.