noun, plural passe-par·touts [pas-pahr-tooz; French pahs-partoo] /ˌpæs pɑrˈtuz; French pɑs parˈtu/.

  1. something that passes everywhere or provides a universal means of passage.
  2. a master key; skeleton key.
  3. an ornamental mat for a picture.
  4. a method of framing in which a piece of glass is placed over a picture and is affixed to a backing by means of adhesive strips of paper or other material pasted over the edges.
  5. paper prepared for this purpose.


  1. a mounting for a picture in which strips of strong gummed paper are used to bind together the glass, picture, and backing
  2. the gummed paper used for this
  3. a mat, often decorated, on which a picture is mounted
  4. something that secures entry everywhere, esp a master key

n.“master-key,” 1670s, French, literally “pass everywhere,” from passer “to pass” (see pass (v.)) + partout “everywhere,” from par “through” (see per) + tout “all.”

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