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

  • n. A bituminous material, such as asphalt, used to pave roads.
  • transitive v. To pave with a bituminous material.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a bituminous material used for providing a smooth paving to a road.
  • n. the surface of a road paved with blacktop{1}.

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

  • v. coat with blacktop
  • n. a black bituminous material used for paving roads or other areas; usually spread over crushed rock


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From black +‎ top.


  • She said that blacktop is about 20 degrees warmer than regular pavement.

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  • Macadam (a material fashioned from coal slag and coil that we know as blacktop) was developed in Scotland.

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  • Asphalt, also known as blacktop, is derived from crude oil, and its cost has been rising so far and fast that it is busting some highway construction and maintenance budgets.

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  • From Guadalajara, your routes could be either through the long, slow, very scenic route of Old 15, a two-lane blacktop which is going to take you through some terrific countryside, lots of towns and topes, and quick frequently the back end of a truck or bus.

    Quick trip to Morelia, Uruapan, Patzc, Zihuat, Ixtapa

  • I remember when Jim Thompson was governor and the roads were being retopped with "blacktop" and there was a stink raised because Europe has a new road surface that lasts for 20 years and we should spend our money on this. -

  • The rude bump of the wheels on blacktop and the soft ding of the "seatbelt off" sign after taxiing are inevitably accompanied by the impatient sound of one hundred seatbelts flying off as eager travelers stampede for the privilege of being the first to stand in line at baggage claim.

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  • Just beyond, pink impatiens line the blacktop driveway that leads into the garage where rows of tools arranged by size hang above the workbench.


  • Few seconds later the pandemonium moved out of the building and on to the blacktop, and only then it occurred to me that a big fight was underway.

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  • Every player in the rink has grown up with some form of the game, from the weekend warriors—specialists of the blacktop with the shredded sweatpants to prove it—to former college ice hockey stars, whose gear is also the first clue to their pedigree.

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  • One night, when Patrick was thirteen, all of the boys were at one house, engaged in their usual string of entertainments—a little Xbox, an hour or so on the blacktop playing basketball, breaks for chips and juice, periodic bursts of IM-ing various girls, time out for a movie they had watched twenty times before.

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  • We call it macadam where I grew up, because a man named Macadam supposedly invented it. I remember discussing this previously on Wordie, in the long ago time. (See macadam.)

    May 12, 2008

  • I never knew about the runway usage. Tarmac was what roads were made of where I were brung up.

    May 11, 2008

  • Asphalt is used in Australia, but not so much in connection with roads or highways - it's a surface I strongly associate with school playgrounds.

    Tarmac, at least for this Aussie, is exclusively an aviation/airport term, referring to the runway, as in "we hit the tarmac at about 9.30". Oh, I can see, over on tarmac, that resetee has identified tarmac=runway as a British usage dating from 1919.

    May 11, 2008

  • Tarmac, anyone?

    May 11, 2008

  • Also known as asphalt in the U.S., though some asphalt is grayer than blacktop.

    May 11, 2008

  • Me neither. I'd probably call the material bitumen. Not sure if there's a one-word equivalent for the verb form, perhaps tar?

    May 10, 2008

  • This word seems very American to me. I was fascinated by a film called Two-Lane Blacktop - yes, I'm the kind of person who'll spend 2 hours trying to pin down the meaning of a word - because I have categorically never heard this word in use in Australia.

    May 10, 2008