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[uh-doh-bee] /əˈdoʊ bi/
sun-dried brick made of clay and straw, in common use in countries having little rainfall.
a yellow silt or clay, deposited by rivers, used to make bricks.
a building constructed of adobe.
a dark, heavy soil, containing clay.
Origin of adobe
Egyptian Demotic
1750-60; Americanism; < Spanish < Arabic al-ṭub the brick < Coptic to:o:be brick < Egyptian Demotic tb < Egyptian Hieroglyphic ḏbt Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for adobe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The old Mission structure is substantially built of brick, covered over with adobe as plaster.

  • Every day Schiefflin set forth on his mule from the adobe house.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • Now an adobe hamlet comes into view, the low whitewashed cabins clustering about a gray old stone church.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • The adobe flashed out from the shadow and Roger slid down into the well.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • It was as though a miniature army were storming the section near the adobe.

    The Bad Man Charles Hanson Towne
British Dictionary definitions for adobe


  1. a sun-dried brick used for building
  2. (as modifier): an adobe house
a building constructed of such bricks
the clayey material from which such bricks are made
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adobe

1739, American English, from Spanish adobe, from oral form of Arabic al-tob "the brick," from Coptic tube "brick," a word found in hieroglyphics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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