: a mass formed by concretion or coalescence of separate particles of matter in one body
: 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
: a waxy essence of flowers prepared by extraction and evaporation and used in perfumery
Did you know?
We can trace "concrete" back to the Latin verb concrescere, meaning "to grow together." Appropriately, when it 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.
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
Recent Examples on the Web
The videos show bathrooms and smaller rooms containing metal cots and an air conditioning unit but little concrete evidence to indicate what they were used for.—Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 24 Nov. 2023 More dramatic is the house’s relationship to the ground: Set on a heavy concrete platform, the dwelling juts out over the steep incline of its narrow plot; in time, Ayako says, shade-seeking plants will creep in, creating a river of green under a bridge to nowhere.—Michael Snyder Pedro Kok, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 The Irish building-materials supplier said the assets comprise a cement plant, a network of terminals located on the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a portfolio of 20 ready-mixed concrete plants.—Anthony O. Goriainoff, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2023 Imagine metal steps, ladders, or the simple addition of a concrete wall.—Freya Bromley, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Nov. 2023 The hangar doors and their supporting concrete pillars will be stabilized and left in place for the time being.—Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2023 Monaco, with its tight corners and gaping concrete barriers, takes me a few days (and zesty beverages) each season in the F1 games.—WIRED, 19 Nov. 2023 The body of a bronze headless woman slowly melts and drips down the side of the concrete pedestal of In Mortal Repose (2011), while Double Standard (2022) conjoins symmetrical headless bodies at the neck, one rightside up, one upside down.—Grace Edquist, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2023 Rolls-Royce, NuScale’s most prominent rival, is aggressively targeting the data center industry, though as yet without concrete results.—David Meyer, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023
Reuters reported one member of the group concreted himself to the street while others stuck themselves to it, using what looked like to be the same method adopted in Thursday's airport disruptions.—Peter Aitken, Fox News, 14 July 2023 These stipulations have helped concrete over huge chunks of America—there are between three and six car parking spaces per car in the US, numbering up to 2 billion in total, according to some estimates.—Oliver Milman, WIRED, 7 Jan. 2023 Rigolon acknowledged that having a large area of irrigated turf is preferable to asphalt or concrete.—Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 July 2022
Grout or concrete will then be injected between the jacket and column.—Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Stone and concrete, for example, have a natural texture, while glass or metal can be shaped or finished to exude a dramatic texture.—Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Nov. 2023 Kogan is known for his clean lines and generous use of concrete, as well as for integrating the outdoors through large windows and skylights.—Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 20 Nov. 2023 The first Starship launch shredded the launch site by throwing chunks of concrete for miles around.—Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 20 Nov. 2023 Some were skeletal silhouettes against the stars, windowless and blackened, others mere pancaked stacks of concrete.—Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2023 Rubble was bulldozed and cleared, and vast amounts of concrete was poured as buildings with stricter seismic standards went up.—Aida Alami, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2023 Their straightforward aesthetic works well in a variety of contexts: strong forms in materials such as steel, wood and concrete, each project tailored to a neighborhood’s proportions, textures and scale, whether in City Heights, Tijuana or South Park.—Dirk Sutro, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2023 Florida has a modest population of beef cattle, but most residents are more likely to spend their time walking on boardwalks, concrete, and asphalt than in the saddle.—Gabriel N. Rosenberg, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'concrete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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