: 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
Rather than return to concrete buildings, men, women and children stayed out in the streets worried about aftershocks and other reverberations that could cause their homes to sway.—Sam Metz, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023 Luke’s is one of gray austerity, all cloudy skies and dirty fingernails and blocky concrete apartments.—Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2023 The Venice outpost, however—in reference to its Pacific location—features mellower tones and tactile finishes, like a chocolaty-brown concrete floor, warm gray plaster walls, and stained Douglas fir panels.—Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 8 Sep. 2023 The stadiums aren’t hallowed grounds but utilitarian concrete boxes.—Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 And not, most distracting of all, when her U.S. Open semifinal against Karolina Muchova was interrupted for 50 minutes Thursday night by environmental activists — one of whom glued his bare feet to the concrete floor in the stands.—Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 But as the protagonists’ quests weaken their connection to that concrete world, the show’s stakes start to scatter, too, as if pulverized by too many competing symbolic operations.—Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Work has included the installation of approximately 2,325 feet of 8-inch water main lines, valves and fire hydrants, new piping for water service to 31 connections, concrete manholes and sewer piping.—Sherry Greenfield, Baltimore Sun, 7 Sep. 2023 To break through the concrete mask of a certain feeling at a certain time.—Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 5 Sep. 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
Neighbors leaned on neighbors to lift heavy slabs of concrete.—Sima Diab, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2023 Restaurants, shops and the central market were leveled, and thousands of people were buried under concrete.—Constant Méheut, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 The launch damaged SpaceX’s launchpad and spread debris and pulverized concrete across hundreds of acres of terrain.—Alan Levin, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 For starters, they are built with hempcrete, which is an energy-efficient, water-efficient, and thermally-efficient building material made of hemp and lime, which is a low-carbon alternative to concrete.—Kimberley Mok, Treehugger, 5 Sep. 2023 That comes out to more than 1 million dump trucks of sand extracted per day to make concrete and glass, build new artificial beaches, or replenish eroding coastlines.—Justine Calma, The Verge, 5 Sep. 2023 Through its evolution, the term seems to flitter between abstract and concrete.—Leo Kim, WIRED, 5 Sep. 2023 For our urban readers, your dogs are walking on concrete and asphalt frequently and that can dry out paws causing cracks and other irritations.—Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 1 Sep. 2023 During a recent tour of the jail, a Times reporter heard people yelling and talking to themselves while in isolation, their voices amplified in the steel and concrete of their housing pod.—Hannah Wiley, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 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