Definition of macadam
: macadamized roadway or pavement especially with a bituminous binder
macadam was our Word of the Day on 10/07/2016. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Recent Examples of macadam from the Web
But while the projects have made inroads where macadam is in short supply, the technology itself – like much other foreign aid – has often been trapped in the bureaucratic maze.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'macadam.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
John Loudon McAdam and macadam
In 1783, inventor John Loudon McAdam returned to his native Scotland after amassing a fortune in New York City. He became the road trustee for his district and quickly set his inventiveness to remedying the terrible condition of local roads. After numerous experiments, he created a new road surfacing material made of bits of stone that became compressed into a solid mass as traffic passed over them. His invention revolutionized road construction and transportation, and engineers and the public alike honored him by using his name (respelled macadam) as a generic term for the material or pavement made from it. He is further immortalized in the verb macadamize, which names the process of installing macadam on a road.
Origin and Etymology of macadam
John L. McAdam †1836 British engineer
First Known Use: 1824See Words from the same year
MACADAM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of macadam for English Language Learners
: a road surface made with a dark material that contains small broken stones
MACADAM Defined for Kids
Definition of macadam for Students
: a road surface made of small closely packed broken stone
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up macadam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).