Definition of asbestos in English:


Syllabification: as·bes·tos
Pronunciation: /asˈbestəs, az-


  • 1A heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as brake linings: asbestos was used for pipe insulation [as modifier]: asbestos shingles
    More example sentences
    • The inhalation of amphibole asbestos is now widely recognized as being highly dangerous to human health.
    • But his lungs lost the battle for health years ago when he worked with blue asbestos fibres, insulating for the telephone company.
    • One of the varieties is the dangerous blue asbestos, crocidolite.
  • 1.1Fabric containing asbestos.
    More example sentences
    • We eventually had to make special asbestos cloth covers for the footwell to stop the fried foot problem.
    • The floor is covered with thick black linoleum and the walls are acoustically treated with an asbestos compound.
    • However, the outside walls were never plastered and asbestos was the material used for the roof.

The asbestos minerals include chrysotile ( white asbestos) and several kinds of amphibole, notably amosite ( brown asbestos) and crocidolite ( blue asbestos). The danger to health caused by breathing in highly carcinogenic asbestos particles has led to stringent control of its use


early 17th century: via Latin from Greek asbestos 'unquenchable' (applied by Dioscurides to quicklime), from a- 'not' + sbestos (from sbennumi 'quench').

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