asbestos

noun

as·​bes·​tos as-ˈbe-stəs How to pronounce asbestos (audio)
az-
: any of several minerals (such as chrysotile) that readily separate into long flexible fibers, that cause asbestosis and have been implicated as causes of certain cancers, and that have been used especially formerly as fireproof insulating materials

Did you know?

A grayish mineral that separates readily into long, flexible fibers, asbestos was used in the past to make brake linings, insulation, roofing shingles, floor and ceiling tiles, cement pipes, and other building materials. Asbestos fabrics were used for safety apparel and theater curtains. In the 1970s, it was found that prolonged inhalation of the tiny asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and other serious lung diseases. In 1989, the US Government instituted a gradual ban on the manufacture, use, and export of most products made with asbestos.

Examples of asbestos in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first will demolish accessory structures (including asbestos abatement), mowing and removal of trash and overgrown vegetation. Kamal Morgan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12 July 2024 The cases include medical malpractice, toxic torts, products liability, asbestos litigation, complex contract issues and class action lawsuits. Carol-Lisa Phillips, Sun Sentinel, 26 June 2024 In addition to silica dust, the rule applies to diesel particulate matter and asbestos, federal officials said. Eduardo Cuevas, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2024 Over the next generation, Peter Angelos remained largely out of the public eye, amassing a fortune from lawsuits on behalf of steel and shipyard workers harmed by exposure to asbestos. Baltimore Sun Editorial Board, Baltimore Sun, 23 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for asbestos 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'asbestos.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English albeston mineral supposed to be inextinguishable when set on fire, probably from Middle French abeston, from Medieval Latin asbeston, alteration of Latin asbestos, from Greek, unslaked lime, from asbestos inextinguishable, from a- + sbennynai to quench

First Known Use

1607, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of asbestos was in 1607

Dictionary Entries Near asbestos

Cite this Entry

“Asbestos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asbestos. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

asbestos

noun
as·​bes·​tos as-ˈbes-təs How to pronounce asbestos (audio)
az-
: a grayish mineral that easily separates into long flexible fibers, that is used to make materials that are fireproof, do not conduct electricity, and are chemically resistant, and that can cause serious lung disease if inhaled as a dust

Medical Definition

asbestos

noun
as·​bes·​tos as-ˈbes-təs How to pronounce asbestos (audio) az- How to pronounce asbestos (audio)
: any of several minerals that readily separate into long flexible fibers, that cause asbestosis and have been implicated as causes of certain cancers, and that have been used especially formerly as fireproof insulating materials

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