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[peyv-muh nt] /ˈpeɪv mənt/
a paved road, highway, etc.
a paved surface, ground covering, or floor.
a material used for paving.
Atlantic States and British, sidewalk.
pound the pavement, Informal. to walk the streets in order to accomplish something:
If you're going to find work you'd better start pounding the pavement.
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin pavīmentum. See pave, -ment
Related forms
[peyv-men-tl] /peɪvˈmɛn tl/ (Show IPA),
prepavement, noun
subpavement, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pavements
  • Glaciers scoured the surrounding landscape, leaving behind exposed limestone pavements.
  • pavements are broken and patched, and wrinkled, and bumpy.
  • The pavements were swimming in it, and of course the hospitals are down, so there's nothing to be done about the cholera.
  • Warmed pavements are not unknown, although when they do not take advantage of an otherwise wasted by-product they are expensive.
  • Now the pavements show great cracks filled with refuse.
  • One had to walk carefully to avoid being stabbed by the lilies bursting in the pavements.
  • It was a night of cold rain, and the pavements were dashed with smears of light from the shop windows.
  • Downtown pavements were crowded with office workers.
  • Many of the shops, situated on wide pavements either side of the cobbled streets, sported large awnings and balconies.
  • Dead bodies littered the pavements, sometimes numbering dozens on a single block.
British Dictionary definitions for pavements


a hard-surfaced path for pedestrians alongside and a little higher than a road US and Canadian word sidewalk
a paved surface, esp one that is a thoroughfare
the material used in paving
(civil engineering) the hard layered structure that forms a road carriageway, airfield runway, vehicle park, or other paved areas
(geology) a level area of exposed rock resembling a paved road See limestone pavement
Word Origin
C13: from Latin pavīmentum a hard floor, from pavīre to beat hard
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 pavements



mid-13c., from Old French pavement "roadway, pathway; paving stone" (12c.) and directly from Latin pavimentum "hard floor, level surface beaten firm," from pavire (see pave).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pavements in the Bible

It was the custom of the Roman governors to erect their tribunals in open places, as the market-place, the circus, or even the highway. Pilate caused his seat of judgment to be set down in a place called "the Pavement" (John 19:13) i.e., a place paved with a mosaic of coloured stones. It was probably a place thus prepared in front of the "judgment hall." (See GABBATHA.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with pavements


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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