asbestos

noun
as·​bes·​tos | \ as-ˈbes-təs How to pronounce asbestos (audio) , az-\

Definition of asbestos

: 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

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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 lawsuit also alleges neither was licensed in Maryland to demolish a property containing materials with asbestos. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "State sues owner of historic West Baltimore asylum, alleging illegal demolition spread asbestos into air," 2 July 2019 Coal needs to join asbestos and PCBs on the phase-out list. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Too many trucks where trucks don’t belong," 29 June 2019 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that includes formaldehyde, asbestos and arsenic. CBS News, "Firefighters battle occupational cancer," 16 June 2019 Demolition will commence once the asbestos and other hazardous materials have been removed. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Simsbury’s Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge will be closed this season as construction begins on a new park," 13 June 2019 All 17 products sent to the Scientific Analytical Institute tested positive for asbestos. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "UPDATE: FDA Claims Three Claire's Products Have Tested Positive for Asbestos," 6 Mar. 2019 In some cases, it can also be contaminated with asbestos. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding the asbestos in its baby powder for decades," 14 Dec. 2018 Occupying 32 acres in Ambler Borough and Whitpain and Upper Dublin Townships in Montgomery County, BoRit contains a six-acre, 25-foot-high tomb for asbestos off Wissahickon and Prophecy creeks that has been capped. Frank Kummer, Philly.com, "EPA: 4 Philly area Superfund sites among top in nation for development potential," 18 Jan. 2018 There’s asbestos, mold, diesel smoke and improper venting. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al.com, "Lawyer for firefighter says mold, asbestos in Birmingham station," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asbestos.' 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 asbestos

1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for asbestos

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

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Statistics for asbestos

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asbestos

The first known use of asbestos was in 1607

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More Definitions for asbestos

asbestos

noun

English Language Learners Definition of asbestos

: a soft gray mineral that does not burn, that was used especially as a building material in the past, and that can cause serious diseases of the lungs when people breathe its dust

asbestos

noun
as·​bes·​tos | \ as-ˈbes-təs How to pronounce asbestos (audio) , az-\

Kids Definition of asbestos

: a grayish mineral that separates easily into long flexible fibers and has been used especially in the past in making fireproof materials

asbestos

noun
as·​bes·​tos | \ as-ˈbes-təs How to pronounce asbestos (audio) , az- How to pronounce asbestos (audio) \

Medical Definition of asbestos

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on asbestos

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asbestos

Spanish Central: Translation of asbestos

Nglish: Translation of asbestos for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asbestos for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about asbestos

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