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

  • n. A natural black bitumen used in the manufacture of acid, alkali, and waterproof coatings.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Gilsonite; a black, brilliant, and lustrous variety of bitumen giving a dark-brown streak, breaking with a beautiful conchoidal fracture, and having a hardness of from 2 to 2.5 and a specific gravity of from 1.065 to 1.07. It is easily fusible, dissolves in turpentine, and is used in making varnishes and in coverings for electric insulation.


After the Uinta (Mountains) .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


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  • An extremely pure asphalt, particularly valuable for manufacturing paints and varnishes. Named for the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah and also called gilsonite.

    September 9, 2009