macadam was our Word of the Day on 10/07/2016. Hear the podcast!
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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
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
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