ado·​be | \ ə-ˈdō-bē How to pronounce adobe (audio) \

Definition of adobe

1 : a brick or building material of sun-dried earth and straw
2 : a structure made of adobe bricks
3 : a heavy clay used in making adobe bricks broadly : alluvial or playa clay in desert or arid regions

Illustration of adobe

Illustration of adobe

adobe 2

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Other Words from adobe

adobelike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce adobelike (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

Handmade sun-dried bricks, adobes are formed from a mixture of heavy clay and straw found in dry regions. As a building material, adobes date back thousands of years and are found in many parts of the world. Molds for shaping the bricks were brought to the New World by the Spanish. Excellent insulating properties make adobes ideal material for both dwellings and ovens; home interiors retain heat in winter and stay cool in summer. The adobe buildings at Taos, New Mexico, are typical of Native American pueblo dwellings.

Examples of adobe in a Sentence

The house was built of adobe.

Recent Examples on the Web

Dual art exhibit opens at adobe Award-winning artist Susan Nikkel and friend Joan Schooley present a dual exhibit that opened this week and runs through June 29 at Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, 640 Alta Vista Drive. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Democratic Club hosts Campa-Najjar... community events this weekend," 7 June 2019 And yes, in true New Mexico form, there is a ranch—a horse ranch!—run by its resident Horse Lady, who offers her guests a true glimpse into the rustic lifestyle by way of equine therapy, home-cooked meals, and their very own adobe-style fireplace. Alison Beckner, Vogue, "Why New Mexico Is the West Coast’s Best (and Most Overlooked) Wellness Retreat," 29 Sep. 2018 The three adobe sculptures under the table are by Rafa Esparza. Rima Suqi, ELLE Decor, "How an Abandoned Texas Home Is Restored Into an Ethereal Country Getaway," 20 Sep. 2018 When Mendoza de Lerma finally bought the adobe, she was filled with joy. Laura Gómez, azcentral, "Are officials erasing history or sparking rebirth in Old Town Peoria?," 18 May 2018 He and his wife lived on the property in a 1940s adobe until his death in May 2016. Martina Schimitschek,, "At Salerno Winery in Ramona, a man's passion for art fuels growing collection," 18 Mar. 2018 Part of that had to do with replastering the original adobe walls. Rima Suqi, ELLE Decor, "How an Abandoned Texas Home Is Restored Into an Ethereal Country Getaway," 20 Sep. 2018 The interiors of Spanish Colonial homes innately have a casual, warm feel to them, since the raw adobe walls may not be covered with plaster or accented with trim, and wooden beams often serve as structural support along the ceilings. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "What Is Spanish Colonial Design? Everything To Know About California's Popular Style," 13 Nov. 2018 That process involved installing handmade replica tiles, new windows, as well as restoring the original adobe. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Stunning Pueblo Revival home asks $3.8M," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adobe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adobe

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adobe

borrowed from Spanish, borrowed from Arabic aṭ-ṭūb, from al "the" + ṭūb "brick (material), bricks," borrowed from Coptic (Sahidic dialect) tôôbe, (Bohairic dialect) tôbi "brick," going back to Old Egyptian db.t

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Statistics for adobe

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for adobe

The first known use of adobe was in 1748

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English Language Learners Definition of adobe

: a type of brick made of a mixture of mud and straw that is dried by the sun


ado·​be | \ ə-ˈdō-bē How to pronounce adobe (audio) \

Kids Definition of adobe

1 : brick made of earth or clay dried in the sun
2 : a building made of adobe

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More from Merriam-Webster on adobe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adobe

Spanish Central: Translation of adobe

Nglish: Translation of adobe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adobe for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about adobe

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