Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters.
  • adj. Of, made of, or containing one or the other of these two mineral forms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters; the small fibres can cause cancer when lodged in the lungs.
  • adj. Of, or relating to asbestos.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fabulous stone, which, once set on fire, could not be quenched: a notion due to observation of the effect of cold water in heating quicklime.
  • n. A supposed kind of flax, alleged to be incombustible.
  • n. A fibrous variety of amphibole or hornblende, composed of separable filaments, with a silky luster; also, in popular use, a similar variety of serpentine called chrysotile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fibrous amphibole; used for making fireproof articles; inhaling fibers can cause asbestosis or lung cancer

Etymologies

Middle English asbestus, from Latin asbestos, mineral or gem, from Greek, mineral or gem, unslaked lime, from asbestos, unquenchable : a-, not; see a-1 + sbennunai, sbes-, to quench.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French abeste, from Ancient Greek ἄσβεστος (asbestos, "unquenchable, inextinguishable"), from ἀ- (a-, "not") + σβέννυμι (sbennumi, "I quench, quell"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term asbestos covers all fibrous minerals with some tensile strength which are poor conductors and can be used for heat-protection.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

  • The Greek word ασβεστος, meaning "unquenchable", survives as the term asbestos, a mineral once prized as a flame-retardant.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • They are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder — and I hope they put it on their faces every day.

    About: Blinded by Science

  • I had the opportunity to ask him a question about the asbestos issue, since he has been dancing around it for weeks: now that the Health Canada report on asbestos is in the public domain, will he and his party take a final, definitive stand on the export of this carcinogen to the Third World?

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Last weekend: "I'm probably walking right off the cliff into some unexpected public policy bog of which I'm unaware, but if asbestos is bad for Parliamentarians in the Parliament of Canada, it just has to be bad for everybody else," he said.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • If the ceilings contain asbestos, removal could be very expensive and possibly require vacating the house while the work is done.

    Do it yourself

  • If your ceilings do contain asbestos, you should not tamper with them.

    Do it yourself

  • If the ceilings do not contain asbestos, you can try removal by wetting the material and scraping it off.

    Do it yourself

  • Climate change skeptics “are people who deny the link between smoking and cancer; they are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder,” he said.

    UN global warming apparatchik loses his composure « Anglican Samizdat

  • •Employees at three law firms that specialize in asbestos litigation are among Biden's top 10 all-time contributors, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

    Biden move had 'intersection of interests'

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Comments

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  • Maybe s/he--excuse me, S/He--just likes the word.

    September 4, 2008

  • Interesting list about asbestos-containing products here.

    p.s. does anyone else find it thought-provoking, if not disturbing, that this word is on JesusIsLord's list? What do you (does he/she) think God is trying to tell us?

    September 3, 2008