asphalt

[ as-fawlt or, esp. British, -falt ]
/ ˈæs fɔlt or, esp. British, -fælt /

noun

any of various dark-colored, solid, bituminous substances, native in various areas of the earth and composed mainly of hydrocarbon mixtures.
a similar substance that is the by-product of petroleum-cracking operations.
a mixture of such substances with gravel, crushed rock, or the like, used for paving.

verb (used with object)

to cover or pave with asphalt.

adjective

of, relating to, or containing asphalt: asphalt tile.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of asphalt

1275–1325; earlier asphaltos, -um < Latin < Greek ásphaltos, -on, akin to asphalízein to make firm, to secure; replacing Middle English aspaltounGreek ásphalton

Related forms

as·phal·tic, adjectiveas·phalt·like, adjectiveun·as·phalt·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for asphalt

British Dictionary definitions for asphalt

asphalt

/ (ˈæsfælt, ˈæʃ-, -fɔːlt) /

noun

any of several black semisolid substances composed of bitumen and inert mineral matter. They occur naturally in parts of America and as a residue from petroleum distillation: used as a waterproofing material and in paints, dielectrics, and fungicides
a mixture of this substance with gravel, used in road-surfacing and roofing materials
(modifier) containing or surfaced with asphalt

verb

(tr) to cover with asphalt

Derived Forms

asphaltic, adjective

Word Origin for asphalt

C14: from Late Latin aspaltus, from Greek asphaltos, probably from a- 1 + sphallein to cause to fall; referring to its use as a binding agent
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

Science definitions for asphalt

asphalt

[ ăsfôlt′ ]

A thick, sticky, dark-brown mixture of petroleum tars used in paving, roofing, and waterproofing. Asphalt is produced as a byproduct in refining petroleum or is found in natural beds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.