- 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.
Origin of asbestos
Examples from the Web for asbestos
Winick says the cause was not HIV-related, but a particular kind of cancer caused by asbestos.Pedro Zamora, a Hero in the Real World
June 1, 2014
Because the important point is what those rulings did not do: create a market for asbestos liability insurance.Should People Be Forced to Buy Liability Insurance for their Guns?
December 28, 2012
It was sealed in 2009 for asbestos contamination and its current status remains unclear.Scientology Glossary: Thetans, Engrams, Sea Org, & More Key Terms
July 6, 2012
“They've had an 800 number up for a year, like they're plaintiffs lawyers in an asbestos case,” he scoffed.'America's Sheriff' Flouts the Feds
August 4, 2010
Asbestos brake lining was produced here starting in 1915, and a fabric manufacturer took over in 1937.Our Most Polluted States
The Daily Beast
May 19, 2010
Then cover the vents with asbestos or a wet cloth as already described.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
It is in operations such as this that the asbestos box will be found of great use.
This liability to breakage is reduced, but not eliminated, by the asbestos annealing.
A suitable bit of wood may be substituted for the asbestos on occasion.
Cars are now being built of steel, and of combinations of metal with asbestos.Checking the Waste
Mary Huston Gregory
- 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
- (as modifier)asbestos matting
Word Origin and History for asbestos
1650s, earlier albeston, abestus (c.1100), name of a fabulous stone, which, set afire, could not be extinguished; from Old French abeste, abestos, from Latin asbestos "quicklime" (which "burns" when cold water is poured on it), from Greek asbestos, literally "inextinguishable," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + sbestos, verbal adjective from sbennynai "to quench," from PIE root *(s)gwes- "to quench, extinguish" (cf. Lithuanian gestu "to go out," Old Church Slavonic gaso, Hittite kishtari "is being put out").
The Greek word was used by Dioscorides as a noun meaning "quicklime." "Erroneously applied by Pliny to an incombustible fibre, which he believed to be vegetable, but which was really the amiantos of the Greeks" [OED]. Meaning "mineral capable of being woven into incombustible fabric" is from c.1600 in English; earlier this was called amiant (early 15c.), from Latin amiantus, from Greek amiantos, literally "undefiled" (so called because it showed no mark or stain when thrown into fire). Supposed in the Middle Ages to be salamanders' wool. Prester John, the Emperor of India, and Pope Alexander III were said to have had robes or tunics made of it.
- Either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, formerly used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, brake linings, and chemical filters but now banned because it causes pleural mesothelioma and asbestosis.
- Of, made of, or containing one or the other of these two mineral forms.
- 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.