Definition of bitumen in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəˈt(y)o͞omən/
Pronunciation: /bīˈt(y)o͞omən/


A black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing.
Example sentences
  • Unlike the flowing reserves that are pumped out of Dallas, oil sands are actually deposits of bitumen - a tar-like mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons that are attached to sand.
  • The crude petroleum is heat-extracted from a mixture of bitumen, sand, water, and clay in an open-pit mining operation.
  • Unlike the bitumen used in builtup systems, the bitumen in modified bitumen systems is modified with polymers in order to increase the elasticity and strength of the finished roof.


Late Middle English (denoting naturally occurring asphalt used as mortar): from Latin.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bi·tu·men

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