Definition of tarmac in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtɑːmak/


[mass noun] trademark in the UK
1Material used for surfacing roads or other outdoor areas, consisting of broken stone mixed with tar: [as modifier]: the tarmac path
More example sentences
  • A decision to replace a paving stone surface in historic Corsham town centre with tarmac in a road safety scheme may be reversed.
  • A third alternative would be to surround the skateboard area with paving slabs and create access from the main tarmac path to the facility with minor repairs to the surface of the car park.
  • The surface of the road is made up of a surface layer of tarmac, approximately 4 to 6 inches thick followed by a concrete layer of approximately 12 or 13 inches.
1.1 (the tarmac) A runway or other area surfaced with tarmac or a similar material.
Example sentences
  • A healthy baby boy was delivered in the back of the helicopter on the tarmac at the Comoro Airfield.
  • Eyewitnesses reported that one of its wingtips hit the tarmac and the jet crashed through an airport fence and then exploded.
  • Instead of taking off, however, the plane and its passengers sat on the tarmac in a weather delay for four hours before returning to the terminal.

verb (tarmacs, tarmacking, tarmacked)

[with object]
Surface (a road or other outdoor area) with tarmac or a similar material: (as adjective tarmacked) there are no tarmacked roads
More example sentences
  • Hawkshead Parish Council is considering tarmacking an area of the village's recreation ground to provide up to 20 contract spaces.
  • A pioneering scheme which has transformed tarmacked roads into open spaces for the community to enjoy may be repeated in other parts of the borough.
  • What is especially odd with cab journeys at the moment though is that most of them take place on a completely empty, beautifully tarmacked road.


Early 20th century: abbreviation of tarmacadam.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tar¦mac

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