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 With planes rolling on the tarmac behind her at Sky Harbor on Friday, Gallego said the federal money would help with a plan to reduce wait times for departures, and to realign ground transportation. Jen Fifield, The Arizona Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 When the plane landed, the group fled the aircraft and ran through the tarmac, the Spanish government's delegate in the Balearics, Aina Calvo, told reporters. Mia Alberti And Lindsay Isaac, CNN, 7 Nov. 2021 Underground street racing has long been an illicit part of Los Angeles’ car culture, with boulevards transformed into wide-open stretches of tarmac, ready made for smooth tires, supercharged engine blocks and tuners. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2021 Videos on social media quickly surfaced showing people standing on the tarmac and law enforcement rushing around an airplane. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 9 Oct. 2021 After an initial, chaotic surge of desperate Afghans flooded the airport’s tarmac, U.S. troops were able to secure the airport and began the painstaking process of screening people for evacuation. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Oct. 2021 Getting stuck in a tarmac traffic jam and waiting for your flight to take off: Not so nice. Aarian Marshall, Wired, 28 Sep. 2021 In a livestream by state broadcaster CCTV, a beaming Meng emerged from the chartered flight in a red dress, waving at the crowds waiting for her at the tarmac. Jane Li, Quartz, 27 Sep. 2021 In July of this year, airlines reported a total of 40 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, according to the agency. CBS News, 24 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of tarmac


1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tarmac


from Tarmac, a trademark

Learn More About tarmac

Dictionary Entries Near tarmac




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tarmac

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tarmac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarmac. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!