- 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.
- to cover or pave with asphalt.
- of, relating to, or containing asphalt: asphalt tile.
Origin of asphalt
Examples from the Web for asphalt
When they are full, many landfills are capped—covered with asphalt or concrete.Garbage In, Power Out
The Daily Beast
November 24, 2014
Think of an asphalt parking lot, which during summer can still be warm hours after the Sun sets.The Best Map of Mars Yet
Matthew R. Francis
July 20, 2014
Asphalt Jungle is sometimes considered the first heist movie, but for me it all starts with Rififi.Book Bag: The Best Heists in Fact, Film, and Fiction
June 6, 2014
Instead of laying down concrete and asphalt on the ground, the Brusaws hit upon the idea of using pavers.Pave the Roads With Solar Panels?
The Daily Beast
June 3, 2014
The white blooms dotted the asphalt and swirled in the breeze under the orange glow of the street lamps.How the Dead Come Home From Afghanistan
May 9, 2014
Steep hillsides are paved with cobblestones instead of asphalt.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
In this way, the asphalt is held in position, and is an absolute prevention of dampness.Rural Hygiene
Henry N. Ogden
As for where this asphalt come from, I don't know, and nobody knows.Plotting in Pirate Seas
A recent rain had made the clay as slippery as asphalt in a drizzle.Roosevelt in the Bad Lands
A mixture of sand and asphalt will creep on slopes of 1½ to 1, but asphalt concrete will not.Concrete Construction
Halbert P. Gillette
- 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
- (tr) to cover with asphalt
Word Origin and History for asphalt
early 14c., "hard, resinous mineral pitch found originally in Biblical lands," from Late Latin asphaltum, from Greek asphaltos "asphalt, bitumen," probably from a non-Greek source, possibly Semitic [Klein, citing Lewy, 1895]. Another theory holds it to be from Greek a- "not" + *sphaltos "able to be thrown down," taken as verbal adjective of sphallein "to throw down," in reference to a use of the material in building.
Meaning "paving composition" dates from 1847 and its popular use in this sense established the modern form of the English word, mostly displacing asphaltum, asphaltos. As a verb meaning "to cover with asphalt," from 1872.
- 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.