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

The runway 01 error revelations are the latest issue at the airport involving its runways, taxiways and tarmac. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "SFO: The typo that almost crashed a plane," 13 Sep. 2019 Many others thronged the airport terminal, hoping to land a seat on private flights, which began arriving on Thursday after floodwaters had receded from the tarmac. Kirk Semple, New York Times, "On Dorian-Battered Island, What’s Left? Virtually Nothing," 6 Sep. 2019 Athletic director Pat Haden famously fired one coach, Lane Kiffin, on the LAX tarmac after a midseason loss to Arizona State. Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times, "This secret donor has given USC $400 million," 5 Sep. 2019 Dallas thunderstorms The Oklahoma City tarmac is quite nice. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The Rundown: Week 1's Standouts, Defining Moments and Our New Top 10," 1 Sep. 2019 The family of five was seen on the tarmac leaving a plane from FlyBe, a British budget airline, and being escorted to their cars. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton, Prince William, and Kids Spotted on Budget Flight to Scotland," 22 Aug. 2019 After hitting the tarmac, other test subjects will undergo a variety of medical checks and assessments. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "The health risks of ultra-long-haul flights," 22 Aug. 2019 Twitter user @bricheeseyy, who later said her name was Brianna Kolbe, shared a video of her boyfriend, Robert Meadows, playing rock-paper-scissors with a tarmac worker while waiting for their plane take leave Atlantic City, New Jersey. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "Fast friends: Tarmac worker plays rock-paper-scissors with passenger on plane in viral video," 13 Aug. 2019 In those days, passengers descended planes on an external staircase and then walked on the tarmac to the terminal. Longreads, "An Ocean Away From the Sanctuary of Manhattan, Signs of Peaceful Coexistence," 29 July 2019

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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Statistics for tarmac

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tarmac

The first known use of tarmac was in 1919

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English Language Learners Definition of Tarmac

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tarmac

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tarmac

Spanish Central: Translation of tarmac

Nglish: Translation of tarmac for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tarmac for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tarmac

What made you want to look up tarmac? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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