any of several grayish minerals, as amphiboles (esp. actinolite) or serpentines (esp. chrysotile), that separate into long, threadlike fibers that do not burn or conduct heat or electricity and are often resistant to chemicals: used, esp. formerly, to make fireproof materials, electrical insulation, roofing, etc.
ME asbestus < L asbestos < Gr, inextinguishable < a-, not + sbestos < sbennynai, to extinguish: first applied in Gr & L to unslaked lime or a mineral other than asbestos
woven of or containing asbestos