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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ He has a rival in every direction, each vigilantly vying for the business that speeds by on six lanes of asphalt.
▪ However, with experience of rather higher levels of use an asphalt surface has now been added to reduce annual maintenance costs.
▪ I fell hard against the asphalt playground and I felt the pain that had not been visible on film.
▪ I took the steps in big bounds and pelted across the asphalt to the school gates.
▪ It was locked and empty, and its tires were flat and fused into the asphalt driveway.
▪ Q.. Can I plant grass in earth over an asphalt driveway?
▪ The heat shimmering over the asphalt had no snap to it; time drifted by.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Asphalt \As"phalt\, v. t. To cover with asphalt; as, to asphalt a roof; asphalted streets. [1913 Webster] ||


Asphalt \As"phalt\, Asphaltum \As*phal"tum\, n. [Gr. ?, of eastern origin: cf. F. asphalte.]

  1. Mineral pitch, Jews' pitch, or compact native bitumen. It is brittle, of a black or brown color and high luster on a surface of fracture; it melts and burns when heated, leaving no residue. It occurs on the surface and shores of the Dead Sea, which is therefore called Asphaltites, or the Asphaltic Lake. It is found also in many parts of Asia, Europe, and America. See Bitumen.

  2. A composition of bitumen, pitch, lime, and gravel, used for forming pavements, and as a water-proof cement for bridges, roofs, etc.; asphaltic cement. Artificial asphalt is prepared from coal tar, lime, sand, etc.

    Asphalt stone, Asphalt rock, a limestone found impregnated with asphalt.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.\n

\nMeaning "paving composition" dates from 1847 and its popular use in this sense established the modern form of the English word, displacing in most senses asphaltum, asphaltos. As a verb meaning "to cover with asphalt," from 1872. Related: Asphaltic.


n. 1 A sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid, composed almost entirely of bitumen, that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits. 2 asphalt concrete, a hard ground covering used for roads and walkways. vb. To pave with asphalt.

  1. n. mixed asphalt and crushed gravel or sand; used especially for paving but also for roofing

  2. a dark bituminous substance found in natural beds and as residue from petroleum distillation; consists mainly of hydrocarbons [syn: mineral pitch]

  3. v. cover with tar or asphalt; "asphalt the driveway"


Asphalt (, , occasionally ), also known as bitumen (, ) is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product; it is a substance classed as a pitch. Until the 20th century, the term asphaltum was also used. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek ἄσφαλτος ásphaltos.

The primary use (70%) of asphalt/bitumen is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.

The terms asphalt and bitumen are often used interchangeably to mean both natural and manufactured forms of the substance. In American English, asphalt (or asphalt cement) is the carefully refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils. Outside the United States, the product is often called bitumen. Geologists often prefer the term bitumen. Common usage often refers to various forms of asphalt/bitumen as " tar", such as at the La Brea Tar Pits. Another archaic term for asphalt/bitumen is "pitch".

Naturally occurring asphalt/bitumen is sometimes specified by the term "crude bitumen". Its viscosity is similar to that of cold molasses while the material obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil boiling at is sometimes referred to as "refined bitumen". The Canadian province of Alberta has most of the world's reserves of natural bitumen, covering , an area larger than England.

Asphalt (1929 film)

Asphalt is a 1929 German silent film. The film was one of the last silent films released in Germany as the world was entering the era of sound film.

Asphalt (1964 film)

Asphalt ( 아스팔트) is a 1964 South Korean film directed by Kim Ki-young.

Asphalt (novel)

Asphalt is a dystopian novel of speculative fiction by Carl Hancock Rux published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in 2004.

Asphalt (series)

Asphalt is a series of racing video games developed and published by Gameloft.

Asphalt (disambiguation)

Asphalt is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums.

Asphalt may also refer to:

  • Asphalt concrete or asphalt, a composite of the petroleum material with minerals, often used for surfacing
  • Asphalt (1929 film), a German silent film by Joe May
  • Asphalt (1964 film), a South Korean film by Kim Ki-young
  • Asphalt (novel), an American novel by Carl Hancock Rux
  • Asphalt (series), a racing game series produced by Gameloft
  • Asphalt, Kentucky
  • USS Asphalt (IX-153), a Trefoil-class concrete barge

Usage examples of "asphalt".

After that, the airman, with a slightly rolling gait, quickly descended the stairs and without looking back strode down the asphalted embankment past the long hospital building.

Here, Georgia sued certain asphalt companies for treble damages under the Sherman Act arising allegedly out of a conspiracy to control the prices of asphalt of which Georgia was a large purchaser.

Cedar Key, the tourist and the retired had finally found Timber Bay-just as, inevitably, every square foot of the state except the state parks is going to be found and asphalted and painted with yellow parking lines.

Now, apparently, as they had found Cedar Key, the tourist and the retired had finally found Timber Bay-just as, inevitably, every square foot of the state except the state parks is going to be found and asphalted and painted with yellow parking lines.

Miss Burd, careful for the cause of discipline, made a new rule that any form showing a record of a single cross for conduct would be debarred for a week from the use of the asphalt tennis-courts, a decidedly drastic measure, but one that in her opinion was necessary to meet the emergency.

He started the car quickly and left twin streaks of Goodyear rubber on the worn asphalt as he sped back toward the wreck site.

The rushing sound underneath might have been wind through pines, but it was Goodyear rubber on damp asphalt.

Cherokee raced down Kali Oka Road, tires screaming on the narrow black asphalt each time the car rounded a curve.

He moved on down the alley, stepping over the bubbles of asphalt oozing through the cracks in the pavement.

The night streets of Padang had a cavernous smell, of dank asphalt and rotting fish.

Behind the offices, a vast asphalt yard was filled with red trucks: pickups, concrete mixers, skip loaders, and pavers, all bearing the white-and-red company logo.

Remo noticed, on driving up the wide strip of asphalt that serviced Poulette Farms Poultry corporated, was the unnatural quiet.

One sprawled on its side groaning, rumen and intestines spilling onto the asphalt.

Beyond the gate, the bare candelabra of sisal plants lined one side of the melting asphalt strip to Marakoi, while on the other side the salt flat stretched away toward an unconfirmed rumor of the Indian Ocean.

In desperation, knowing the Technics would be on him in seconds, he threw himself backwards onto the asphalt.