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tar·​mac ˈtär-ˌmak How to pronounce tarmac (audio)
: a tarmacadam road, apron, or runway


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used for a bituminous binder for roads

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
There’s no plane and no tarmac. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 6 Dec. 2022 Back in 2013 he was fired five games into his fourth season at USC, unceremoniously dumped on an airport tarmac after accruing a 28-15 record with the Trojans, including just a 10-8 mark in his final two seasons. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 31 Oct. 2022 The audio was captured by television cameras as the Democratic Senate leader greeted Biden at a tarmac in Syracuse, N.Y., where Biden later gave remarks touting Micron Technology's plans for a $100 billion semiconductor plant. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2022 American was also fined $1 million in March 2019 for 13 long tarmac delays between December 2015 and January 2017. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 June 2022 The 9-hectare sacred grove—about the size of nine soccer fields—has a barbed wire fence around it, a tarmac road allowing people to drive to the temple’s doorstep, and a public toilet. Mahima Jain, WIRED, 18 Mar. 2023 The section of the track between Turns 3 and 4 were repaved since the race last February, leading drivers to believe that the fresh tarmac would lead to much higher grip. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Mar. 2023 Our test vehicle delivered peerless ride quality though, which was appreciated over the broken tarmac near our Michigan headquarters. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 3 Mar. 2023 From space, in fact, the Afghans at the airport don’t look like humans at all but rather tiny dots scattered across a tarmac. Jordan G. Teicher, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tarmac.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



from Tarmac, a trademark

First Known Use


1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tarmac was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near tarmac

Cite this Entry

“Tarmac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarmac. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


tar·​mac ˈtär-ˌmak How to pronounce tarmac (audio)
: a road, apron, or runway paved with layers of crushed stone covered with tar

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