tar·​mac | \ ˈtär-ˌmak How to pronounce tarmac (audio) \

Definition of tarmac

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a tarmacadam road, apron, or runway



Definition of Tarmac (Entry 2 of 2)

used for a bituminous binder for roads

Examples of tarmac in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This simple, repetitive task takes controllers’ attention away from everything else that’s happening on the tarmac. Fortune, "Regulations could speed up, not slow down, A.I. progress," 9 Nov. 2020 Trump spoke briefly to hundreds who gathered outside the venue, Rochester International Airport, before giving quick remarks on the tarmac to supporters who were allowed onsite. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump pitches ‘back to normal’ as Biden warns of tough days," 31 Oct. 2020 Trump climbed the stairs to a platform and waved to a tarmac filled with red. Alden Woods, The Arizona Republic, "'It's historic': When Air Force One lands in Bullhead City, all roads lead to Donald Trump," 28 Oct. 2020 Seven Network News reported the women were examined in an ambulance on the tarmac. Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, "Qatar apologizes, investigates forced airport examinations prompted by abandoned newborn," 28 Oct. 2020 Australia's Seven Network News reported the women were examined in an ambulance on the tarmac. Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, "Qatar apologizes, investigates forced airport examinations," 27 Oct. 2020 On April 2nd, Baker held a press conference on the tarmac, with the Patriots’ 767 in the background and Jonathan Kraft and a nurse, whose hospital was to receive some of the masks, by his side. Douglas Starr, The New Yorker, "What Should Crisis Leadership Look Like?," 26 Oct. 2020 Flight QR908 was stalled on the tarmac in the evening when a dozen Australian women, as well as women of other nationalities, were removed from the plane, according to Wolfgang Babeck, another passenger. Yan Zhuang, New York Times, "Women on Qatar Airways Flight Are Strip-Searched, Sparking Outrage in Australia," 26 Oct. 2020 Officials ordered searches of more than a dozen women, in one or more ambulances parked on the tarmac, according to Australian media outlets. Washington Post, "Australia concerned over ‘grossly disturbing’ strip searches of female passengers at Qatar airport," 26 Oct. 2020

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


1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tarmac


from Tarmac, a trademark

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Time Traveler for tarmac

Time Traveler

The first known use of tarmac was in 1919

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Statistics for tarmac

Last Updated

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tarmac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarmac. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for tarmac



English Language Learners Definition of Tarmac

used for a paving material made of layers of crushed stone covered with tar

More from Merriam-Webster on tarmac

Nglish: Translation of tarmac for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tarmac for Arabic Speakers

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