- Obs. asphalt found in a natural state
- any of various black, combustible, solid to semisolid mixtures of hydrocarbons that are usually obtained from the distillation of petroleum, used to make roofing materials, sealants, paints, etc.
Origin of bitumenClassical Latin from Celtic (or uncertain or unknown; perhaps Oscan-Umbrian) from Indo-European an unverified form gwet-, resin from source Sanskrit jatu, gum, Breton bezuen, birch
Any of various flammable mixtures of relatively nonvolatile hydrocarbons that occur naturally or are obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum. Bitumens are used for paving, roofing, and waterproofing. Also called asphalt .
Origin of bitumenMiddle English mineral pitch from the Near East from Latin bitūmen perhaps of Celtic origin and akin to Welsh bedw birch trees (a common source of pitch)
(plural bitumina or bitumens)
- Mineral pitch; a black, tarry substance, burning with a bright flame; Jew’s pitch. It occurs as an abundant natural product in many places, as on the shores of the Dead and Caspian Seas. It is used in cements, in the construction of pavements, et cetera.
- By extension, any one of the natural hydrocarbons, including the hard, solid, brittle varieties called asphalt, the semisolid maltha and mineral tars, the oily petrolea, and even the light, volatile naphthas.
- (Canadian English) Canadian deposits of extremely heavy crude oil