putty

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put·ty / ˈpətē/ • n. 1. a soft, malleable, grayish-yellow paste, made from whiting and raw linseed oil, that hardens after a few hours and is used chiefly for sealing glass panes in wooden window frames. ∎  any of a number of similar malleable substances used inside and outside buildings, e.g., plumber's putty, or used for modeling or casting. 2. a polishing powder, usually made from tin oxide, used in jewelry work. • v. (-ties, -tied) [tr.] seal or cover (something) with putty. PHRASES: be (like) putty in someone's hands be easily manipulated or dominated by someone. ORIGIN: mid 17th cent.: from French potée, literally ‘potful,’ from pot ‘pot.’

putty

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putty jeweller's polishing powder; plasterer's fine cement XVII; glazier's cement for fixing panes XVIII. — F. potée potter's glaze, jeweller's putty, loam for moulds, orig. potful, f. pot POT; see -Y5.

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