Asbestos definition

ăs-bĕstəs, ăz-
Any of six incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous minerals of impure magnesium silicate, occurring in either serpentine or amphibole form and used historically in many products, including fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters. Owing to health hazards, notably from inhalation, use of asbestos has been restricted.
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Of, made of, or containing one of these six mineral forms.
adjective
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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.
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Woven of or containing asbestos.
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Any of six incombustible chemical-resistant silicate minerals, including one serpentine (chrysotile) and five amphiboles (amosite, crocidolite, and fibrous forms of actinolite, anthophyllite, and tremolite), that separate easily into long, thin, flexible fibers and that have been widely used commercially in products such as fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters. Mining and use of asbestos has been restricted because inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis and cancer.
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Fabric or material containing any of these mineral forms.
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Relating to, made of, or containing one of these six mineral forms.
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Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate. Asbestos is resistant to heat, flames, and chemical action. Some forms have been shown to cause lung diseases. For this reason, asbestos is no longer used to make insulation, fireproofing material, and brake linings.
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Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters.
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Of, or relating to asbestos.
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Origin of asbestos

  • Middle English asbestus from Latin asbestos mineral or gem from Greek mineral or gem, unslaked lime from asbestos unquenchable a- not a–1 sbennunai sbes- to quench

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Old French abeste, from Ancient Greek ἄσβεστος (asbestos, “unquenchable, inextinguishable”), from ἀ- (a-, “not”) + σβέννυμι (sbennumi, “I quench, quell”).

    From Wiktionary