bitumen

noun
bi·​tu·​men | \bə-ˈtyü-mən, bī-, -ˈtü-, especially British also ˈbit-yə-\

Definition of bitumen 

1 : an asphalt of Asia Minor used in ancient times as a cement and mortar

2 : any of various mixtures of hydrocarbons (such as tar) often together with their nonmetallic derivatives that occur naturally or are obtained as residues after heat-refining natural substances (such as petroleum) specifically : such a mixture soluble in carbon disulfide

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Other Words from bitumen

bituminization \ bə-​ˌtyü-​mə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən , bī-​, -​ˌtü-​ \ noun
bituminize \ bə-​ˈtyü-​mə-​ˌnīz , bī-​, -​ˈtü-​ \ transitive verb

Examples of bitumen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In April, Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. widened for the first time in six months, with exports to the U.S. up 3.2% on higher exports of crude oil and crude oil bitumen. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Canada’s Trade Deficit Narrowed In April," 6 June 2018 In Alberta, tar sands are mined in massive open-pit operations and must be partially processed to create a crude known as diluted bitumen before it is sent by pipeline or rail to be refined into gasoline and other petroleum products. Alan Freeman, Washington Post, "Two of Canada’s biggest provinces are feuding over an oil pipeline. Trudeau is caught in the middle.," 25 May 2018 The project was approved by the federal government in late 2016 but suffered a setback this year when the British Columbia government proposed limiting any increase in shipments of diluted bitumen amid concerns about spills. Kevin Orland, Bloomberg.com, "Kinder Throws Pipeline Into Doubt, Dealing Major Blow to Oil Sands," 9 Apr. 2018 The project was approved by the federal government in late 2016 but suffered a setback this year when the British Columbia government proposed limiting any increase in shipments of diluted bitumen amid concerns about spills. Houston Chronicle, "Kinder Morgan's Canadian pipeline thrown into doubt," 9 Apr. 2018 That’s equal to between $33 and $38 a barrel at current bitumen prices versus $35 a barrel for heavy Western Canadian Select, an oil-sands benchmark, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg.com, "Oil Sands Upgraders May Make a Comeback Amid Pipeline Crises," 12 Mar. 2018 The bitumen road out of town soon turns to dirt, and farmhouses on big wheat properties are dotted every several miles. Jacqueline Williams, New York Times, "A Farming Town Divided: Do We Want a Nuclear Site that Brings Jobs?," 7 Mar. 2018 Environmental advocates have opposed Keystone XL because it will be used to transport bitumen oil, which emits more CO2 during the refining process than other forms of crude oil. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Nebraska approves controversial Keystone XL pipeline with conditions," 20 Nov. 2017 As is the case in Michigan, the bitumen will persist in the water table for the foreseeable future. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Trump's Vague Regulation Policy Will Have Seriously Specific Consequences," 30 Jan. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bitumen

Middle English bithumen mineral pitch, from Latin bitumin-, bitumen

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The first known use of bitumen was in the 15th century

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