asphalt

noun
as·​phalt | \ ˈas-ˌfȯlt also ˈash- , especially British -ˌfalt\
variants: or less commonly asphaltum \ as-​ˈfȯl-​təm , especially British  -​ˈfal-​ \

Definition of asphalt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dark bituminous substance that is found in natural beds and is also obtained as a residue in petroleum refining and that consists chiefly of hydrocarbons
2 : an asphaltic composition used for pavements and as a waterproof cement

asphalt

verb
asphalted; asphalting; asphalts

Definition of asphalt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover with asphalt : pave sense 1

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Other Words from asphalt

Noun

asphaltic \ as-​ˈfȯl-​tik , especially British  -​ˈfal-​ \ adjective

Examples of asphalt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Los Angeles, like so many other modern cities, is encased in thousands of miles of asphalt. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Los Angeles is painting some of its streets white and the reasons why are pretty cool," 9 Apr. 2018 What used to be spruce trees and an insulating carpet of forest floor is now a layer of warm asphalt. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Warming in the north continues as predicted," 23 June 2018 For a reclamation project, crews use equipment that breaks up asphalt into smaller pieces but keeps it in place to use as much of the existing pavement as a base. Mikaela Porter, Courant Community, "Work Continues On Park Road/ I-84, Local Road Projects Continue Through July," 20 June 2018 But before long, those chargers will be ripped right back out, along with the asphalt, and moved to a new spot to make room for more factory space. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will live and die by the Gigafactory," 30 Nov. 2018 Some of them glow, while others are paved with asphalt made with recycled toilet paper. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "The Netherlands is testing a bike lane made from recycled plastic," 24 Sep. 2018 The Last Race puts across the filmmaker’s affectionate impressions of the track, through overhead conversations between foul-mouthed old-timers and dreamy shots of beat-up old automobiles roaring across the weary asphalt. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 10 best documentaries of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 That’s because the asphalt gets really hot in the sun! Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Warm in the Sun," 12 July 2018 That space is threaded by roads, asphalt lifelines of the population. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days," 8 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And asphalt super-late model specials at Slinger, Madison International Speedway in the Town of Rutland and Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A track opener — even a ragged one — is just the cure for a racing fan's spring fever," 29 Apr. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for asphalt

Noun

Middle English aspalt, from Late Latin aspaltus, from Greek asphaltos

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Statistics for asphalt

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asphalt

The first known use of asphalt was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for asphalt

asphalt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of asphalt

: a black substance that is used for making roads

asphalt

noun
as·​phalt | \ ˈas-ˌfȯlt \

Kids Definition of asphalt

1 : a dark-colored substance obtained from natural deposits in the earth or from petroleum
2 : any of various materials made of asphalt that are used for pavements and as a waterproof cement

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More from Merriam-Webster on asphalt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asphalt

Spanish Central: Translation of asphalt

Nglish: Translation of asphalt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asphalt for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about asphalt

Comments on asphalt

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