American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A black, viscous natural bitumen.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bituminous substance midway in consistency between asphaltum and petroleum. From its tarry appearance, it is sometimes called
mineral tar; it is the brea of the Mexican Spanish. By the Romans the word maltha was used as the name of various cements, stuccos, and other preparations of a similar kind employed for repairing cisterns, roofs, etc., and of some of these what is now known as maltha, or some other form of bitumen, in all probability constituted a part Asphaltum and maltha were also used from the earliest times (as stated in Genesis with regard to the building of the Tower of Babel) for the same purpose for which our common mortar is employed, namely to bind together stones and bricks.
- n. Haeckel's term for the gelatinous ground-substance or mesoglcea and contained cells of various kinds, which forms the skeletogenous layer in sponges.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A variety of bitumen, viscid and tenacious, like pitch, unctuous to the touch, and exhaling a bituminous odor.
- n. obsolete Mortar.
- n. a thick black tar intermediate between petroleum and asphalt
- Ancient Greek μάλθα (máltha) (Wiktionary)
- Middle English malthe, from Latin maltha, from Greek, a mixture of wax and pitch; see mel-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The Greek language has contributed "maltha," to melt; the German "schmeltz," the old”
“I felt a sudden flush and the child in my womb moved, stirred by the earth, the blood-red clay, Southern dirt laden with maltha, gilsonite and iron, feeding the unspeakable hunger.”
“Thus they form a heterogeneous assemblage of liquid hydrocarbons, of which naphtha and maltha may be said to form the extremes, and which have little in common, except their undefinable name.”
“Among different bituminous substances, the names _naphtha_ and _petrolium_ have been given to those which are fluid, _maltha_, to that which has the consistence of pitch, and _asphaltum_ to that which is solid.”
“Among different bituminous substances, the names _naphtha_ and _petroleum_ have been given to those which are fluid; _maltha_, to that which has the consistence of pitch; and _asphaltum_, to that which is solid.”
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