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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

Examples of tarmac in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Last year, American had 17 flights that experienced tarmac times of over three hours out of 874,145 domestic flights. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 28 Aug. 2023 According to the Department of Transportation, airlines are required to provide passengers with food and water during onboard tarmac delays of more than two hours. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2023 An American Airlines employee at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport was killed in a tarmac incident Thursday, authorities said. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 20 Apr. 2023 The episode ends on a lonely airplane tarmac, with a solo piano playing another of Britell’s themes and then a more impassioned elegy for organ and orchestra. Tim Greiving, Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2023 In March, the wings of two United Airlines planes clipped one another while both aircraft were on the airport’s tarmac. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Aug. 2023 Our addiction to quick and free parking has turned our cities into vast expanses of garages and tarmac that are unsightly and dangerous to walk across. Max Holleran, The New Republic, 25 Apr. 2023 At one point, Trump’s son Eric posted on social media a picture of a television set inside the plane showing a Fox News Channel picture of the plane waiting on a Florida tarmac. David Bauder, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2023 To draw society’s attention to the issue, the group has staged disruptive protests, usually by gluing themselves to roads and tarmacs. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Mar. 2023 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 4 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on tarmac

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