asbestos

[as-bes-tuhs, az-]
noun
1.
Mineralogy. a fibrous mineral, either amphibole or chrysotile, formerly used for making incombustible or fireproof articles.
2.
a fabric woven from asbestos fibers, formerly used for theater curtains, firefighters' gloves, etc.
3.
Theater. a fireproof curtain.
Also, asbestus.


Origin:
1350–1400; < Latin < Greek: literally, unquenched, equivalent to a- a-6 + sbestós (sbes- variant stem of sbennýnai to quench + -tos past participle suffix); replacing Middle English asbeston, albeston < Middle French < Latin

asbestine [as-bes-tin, az-] , asbestous, adjective
asbestoid, asbestoidal, adjective
nonasbestine, adjective
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World English Dictionary
asbestos (æsˈbɛstɒs, -təs)
 
n
a.  any of the fibrous amphibole and serpentine minerals, esp chrysotile and tremolite, that are incombustible and resistant to chemicals. It was formerly widely used in the form of fabric or board as a heat-resistant structural material
 b.  (as modifier): asbestos matting
 
[C14 (originally applied to a mythical stone the heat of which could not be extinguished): via Latin from Greek: from asbestos inextinguishable, from a-1 + sbennunai to extinguish]
 
as'bestine
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

asbestos
late 14c., fabulous stone, which, when set afire, would not be extinguished; from O.Fr. abeste, from L. asbestos "quicklime" (which "burns" when cold water is poured on it), from Gk. asbestos, lit. "inextinguishable," from a- "not" + sbestos, verbal adj. from sbennynai "to quench," from PIE base *(s)gwes-
"to quench, extinguish" (cf. Lith. gestu "to go out," O.C.S. gaso, Hittite kishtari "is being put out"). Meaning "mineral capable of being woven into incombustible fabric" is from c.1600; earlier this was called amiant (early 15c.), from L. amiantus, from Gk. amiantos "undefiled" (so called because it showed no mark or stain when thrown into fire). Pliny was the first to make the error of calling this asbestos. Supposed in the Middle Ages to be salamanders' wool. Prester John, the Emperor of India, and Pope Alexander III were said to have had robes or tunics made of it.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

asbestos as·bes·tos or as·bes·tus (ās-běs'təs, āz-)
n.
Either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, brake linings, and chemical filters. adj.
Of, made of, or containing one or the other of these two mineral forms.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
asbestos   (ās-běs'təs)  Pronunciation Key 
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

asbestos definition

jargon
Used as a modifier to anything intended to protect one from flames; also in other highly flame-suggestive usages. E.g., asbestos longjohns, asbestos cork award.
[Jargon File]
(1996-02-06)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

asbestos

town, Estrie region, southern Quebec province, Canada. Asbestos lies near the Southwest Nicolet River, 95 miles (153 km) southwest of Quebec city. Its economy traditionally depended almost entirely on asbestos mining and the manufacture of asbestos products. One of the mines-the Jeffrey open-pit mine-is one of the largest asbestos mines in the world. Electrical equipment and wood products are manufactured. Inc. village, 1899; town, 1937. Pop. (2006) 6,819.

Learn more about Asbestos with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for asbestos
Some ore bodies of vermiculite have been found to contain small amounts of asbestos.
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