con·​crete | \ (ˌ)kän-ˈkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) , ˈkän-ˌkrēt, kən-ˈkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) \

Definition of concrete

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : naming a real thing or class of things the word poem is concrete, poetry is abstract
2 : formed by coalition of particles into one solid mass
3a : characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events
b : specific, particular a concrete proposal
c : real, tangible concrete evidence
4 : relating to or made of concrete a concrete wall


con·​crete | \ ˈkän-ˌkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) , kän-ˈkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) \
concreted; concreting

Definition of concrete (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to form into a solid mass : solidify
b : combine, blend
2 : to make actual or real : cause to take on the qualities of reality
3 : to cover with, form of, or set in concrete The statues were concreted to the ground.


con·​crete | \ ˈkän-ˌkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) , (ˌ)kän-ˈkrēt \

Definition of concrete (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a mass formed by concretion or coalescence of separate particles of matter in one body
2 : a hard strong building material made by mixing a cementing material (such as portland cement) and a mineral aggregate (such as sand and gravel) with sufficient water to cause the cement to set and bind the entire mass
3 : a waxy essence of flowers prepared by extraction and evaporation and used in perfumery

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Other Words from concrete


concretely adverb
concreteness noun

Did You Know?


We can trace "concrete" back to the Latin verb concrescere, meaning "to grow together." Appropriately, when if first entered English "concrete" could mean "connected by growth." Logicians and grammarians also applied "concrete" to words that expressed a quality viewed as being united with the thing it describes. That in turn led to the sense of "concrete" which we now contrast with "abstract" - concrete words express actual things ("rock," "lizard, "harpsichord"), while abstract words express qualities apart from actual things ("bliss," "freedom," "turpitude"). It was not until the 19th century that the noun "concrete," and its related adjective, began to be used for the building material composed of cementing material and sand, gravel, or similar materials.

Examples of concrete in a Sentence

Adjective It's helpful to have concrete examples of how words are used in context. We hope the meetings will produce concrete results. Verb the mortar slowly concreted in the mold a choral work that concretes music and dance into a stunning theatrical experience
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Before the luxury amenities go into a building, there’s the foundation and an elevator shaft, all solid dependable concrete and upward mobility. Jon Meoli,, "With no-hitter, John Means a beacon for Orioles rebuild in present and future: ‘He’s going to be the mainstay’," 6 May 2021 The concrete-and-steel sarcophagus called the Shelter, erected 1 year after the accident to house Unit Four’s remains, allowed rainwater to seep in. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "Nuclear reactions reawaken in Chernobyl reactor," 5 May 2021 The Cabazon Dinosaurs, a roadside attraction featuring two enormous steel-and-concrete prehistoric beasts. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "We made a plan, we did something else and it was even better," 4 May 2021 The death toll from the collapse of an overpass on the Mexico City metro rose to 24 Tuesday as crews untangled train carriages from the steel and concrete wreckage that fell onto a roadway. Star Tribune, "Overpass collapse on Mexico City metro kills at least 24," 4 May 2021 Does the abrupt resignation from Cleveland City Council give hope to people who oppose putting an asphalt and concrete plant on Opportunity Corridor, which has been envisioned as a place for light industry and offices with high-paying jobs? Laura Johnston, cleveland, "If enough elected leaders call for it, will Samaria Rice get justice for the police killing of her son Tamir? This Week in the CLE," 3 May 2021 For instance, ground-penetrating radar was employed to keep the platform’s all-steel structure and concrete footing safely away from the tree’s historic roots. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Iconic Balboa Park tree, fenced off since 1989, now has a viewing platform," 30 Apr. 2021 Berkeley abruptly closed the half-mile long pier in July 2015, after inspectors noticed crumbling concrete and corroded steel supports. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Berkeley's beloved but crumbling pier is still closed - and at least 5 more years and $55 million from reopening," 30 Apr. 2021 Some things our mothers teach us are concrete: How to drive a car, read a W-2 form or hem a pair of pants. Washington Post, "Crispy fish and mashed potato cakes are a fresh take on a thrifty throwback," 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Aside from not trying to drill concrete with a bit made for wood, here are some factors for purchasing a set of quality bits that will last you more than one job. The Editors, Field & Stream, "3 Features You Need in Your Next Drill Bit Set," 7 Dec. 2020 How could concrete contort that much without exploding into dust? Bruce Jenkins,, "Sporting Green reader memories: Loma Prieta at Candlestick, Matt Cain perfect," 27 June 2020 The Kwai’s crew of 11, sailors accustomed to unloading anything from cars to concrete on isolated islands, uses winches and sweat to hoist the heavy nets from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where swirling currents gather floating debris. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Untangling the ocean trash glut, one ‘ghost net’ at a time," 19 June 2020 That is, if the information gathered by investigators leads to concrete results within the church and the criminal justice system. Washington Post, "AP Explains: Vatican to send abuse investigators to Mexico," 5 Mar. 2020 The location will also serve local brews and frozen custard concretes with mix-ins by Chicago bakeries like Hot Chocolate Bakery and Bang Bang Pie. Grace Wong,, "Hemingway-inspired Spanish tapas restaurant opens in Logan Square, plus more Chicago restaurant news," 17 Oct. 2019 Small fish peer out from the necks of the jugs, which the passage of time has concreted into the seabed. Elena Becatoros, The Seattle Times, "Wrecks, sunken treasures lie under Albania’s coastal waters," 2 Aug. 2017 Small fish peer out from the necks of the jugs, which the passage of time has concreted into the seabed. Washington Post, "Wrecks, sunken treasures lie under Albania’s coastal waters," 2 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Local residents had expressed concern about the structural integrity of the overpass, including cracks in the concrete, after a powerful earthquake devastated parts of the city in September 2017. New York Times, "Years of Unheeded Warnings. Then the Subway Crash Mexico City Had Feared.," 4 May 2021 Alabama football on Saturday will cast in concrete the handprints of its captains from the past two seasons, closing the book on the program’s most recent group of leaders. Mike Rodak |, al, "Nick Saban ‘hasn’t found his leaders yet’ for Alabama defense in 2021," 14 Apr. 2021 Those very first decisions often become slowly set in concrete and in retrospect each decision that emanated from the first one was ultimately wrong. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How can entrepreneurs ‘reset’ early in the process to make sure they’re not taking the wrong path?," 12 Apr. 2021 Clad in concrete, the modern residence spans 3,660 square feet and takes in 300-degree views from walls of glass and multiple decks, balconies and outdoor spaces. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lists Hollywood Hills perch," 8 Mar. 2021 This distinction between ETFs and mutual funds is not set in concrete. William Baldwin, Forbes, "Which Is Better: An ETF Or A Mutual Fund?," 5 Mar. 2021 This exciting wine is made with organic grapes and aged in concrete, which gives the wine a little rustic texture while allowing the top-quality fruit to shine. Washington Post, "This outstanding Argentine malbec delivers deep fruit flavors for just $15," 19 Feb. 2021 The alley at 1217 W. Main St. in downtown Louisville is dim underneath skies which now approach eveningas Greene and his crew arrive on a scene where graffiti is sprayed across the walls and weeds split through the cracks in the concrete. Andre Toran, The Courier-Journal, "Full hands, full hearts: Feed Louisville nourishes the homeless with more than just food," 21 Jan. 2021 Builders used concrete made from sand sourced from each of California’s 58 counties and water from the 21 historical missions. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Newsom recall effort moves ahead," 27 Apr. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for concrete


Middle English concret "(of words) denoting a quality as adherent in a substance rather than in isolation," borrowed from Medieval Latin concrētus "composite, solidified, (of words) denoting a quality adherent in a substance rather than in isolation," going back to Latin, "formed, composite, condensed, solid," from past participle of concrēscere "to coalesce, condense, solidify, harden" — more at concrescence


borrowed from Latin concrētus, past participle of concrēscere "to coalesce, condense, solidify, harden" — more at concrescence


derivative of concrete entry 1

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Learn More about concrete

Time Traveler for concrete

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for concrete

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Concrete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for concrete



English Language Learners Definition of concrete

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: made of concrete
: relating to or involving specific people, things, or actions rather than general ideas or qualities



English Language Learners Definition of concrete (Entry 2 of 3)

British : to cover or form (something) with concrete



English Language Learners Definition of concrete (Entry 3 of 3)

: a hard, strong material that is used for building and made by mixing cement, sand, and broken rocks with water


con·​crete | \ kän-ˈkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) \

Kids Definition of concrete

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made of or relating to concrete
2 : being specific and useful a concrete example
3 : being real and useful concrete evidence


con·​crete | \ ˈkän-ˌkrēt How to pronounce concrete (audio) \

Kids Definition of concrete (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hardened mixture of cement, sand, and water with gravel or broken stone used in construction

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