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[bahy-too-muh-nuh s, -tyoo-, bi-]
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  1. resembling or containing bitumen: bituminous shale.
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Origin of bituminous

1610–20; < Latin bitūminōsus, equivalent to bitūmin- (stem of bitūmen) bitumen + -ōsus -ous
Related formsnon·bi·tu·mi·nous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bituminous

midnight, dark, sable, ebony, obsidian, raven, inky, pitch-black, bituminous, ebon, pitch-dark

Examples from the Web for bituminous

Historical Examples of bituminous

  • The surface may or may not be coated with some bituminous material.

    American Rural Highways

    T. R. Agg

  • Like all bituminous earths, it needs the strongest drying oil.

  • This hypothesis is based on experimental work with bituminous shales.

  • Bituminous may be distinguished from subbituminous by the manner of weathering.

  • There are gradations from bituminous coal into anthracite coal.

Word Origin and History for bituminous


1610s, from French bitumineux, from Latin bituminosus, from bitumen (see bitumen).

The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell. ["Paradise Lost," XII.41]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper