Dictionary.com

asbestos

or as·bes·tus

[ as-bes-tuhs, az- ]
/ æsˈbɛs təs, æz- /
Save This Word!

noun
Mineralogy. a fibrous mineral, either amphibole or chrysotile, formerly used for making incombustible or fireproof articles.
a fabric woven from asbestos fibers, formerly used for theater curtains, firefighters' gloves, etc.
Theater. a fireproof curtain.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of asbestos

1350–1400; <Latin <Greek: literally, unquenched, equivalent to a-a-6 + sbestós (sbes- variant stem of sbennýnai to quench + -tos past participle suffix); replacing Middle English asbeston, albeston<Middle French <Latin

OTHER WORDS FROM asbestos

as·bes·tine [as-bes-tin, az-], /æsˈbɛs tɪn, æz-/, as·bes·tous, adjectiveas·bes·toid, as·bes·toi·dal, adjectivenon·as·bes·tine, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use asbestos in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for asbestos

asbestos
/ (æsˈbɛstɒs, -təs) /

noun
  1. any of the fibrous amphibole and serpentine minerals, esp chrysotile and tremolite, that are incombustible and resistant to chemicals. It was formerly widely used in the form of fabric or board as a heat-resistant structural material
  2. (as modifier)asbestos matting

Derived forms of asbestos

asbestine, adjective

Word Origin for asbestos

C14 (originally applied to a mythical stone the heat of which could not be extinguished): via Latin from Greek: from asbestos inextinguishable, from a- 1 + sbennunai to extinguish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for asbestos

asbestos
[ ăs-bĕstəs ]

Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate. Asbestos is resistant to heat, flames, and chemical action. Some forms have been shown to cause lung diseases. For this reason, asbestos is no longer used to make insulation, fireproofing material, and brake linings.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK