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See also: Asbestos


Asbestos fibers.

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old French abestos, from Latin asbestos, itself from Ancient Greek ἄσβεστος (ásbestos, unquenchable, inextinguishable), from ᾰ̓- (a-, not) + σβέννῡμῐ (sbénnūmi, I quench, quell).



asbestos (countable and uncountable, plural asbestoses or (rare) asbesti)

  1. (mineralogy) Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, chemical filters, suits, fireman's gloves, etc.
    All types of asbestos are potentially carcinogenic when inhaled.
    Asbestos insulation was once ubiquitous.
    • 1913 February, “Asbestos Mines in China”, in Mines and Minerals[1], volume XXXIII, number 7, Scranton, PA, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 398, column 3:
      Consul Baker, of Antung, China, states that valuable deposits of asbestos have been found in the vicinity of Kuantien, a small town lying about 45 miles northeast of Antung. [] There are three mines now in operation, each employing about 30 workers. These workers, however, are mostly farmers who devote only their spare time to mining and use simply hammers and chisels and gather only the asbestos which lies near the surface.
    • 1946 November and December, “New L.M.S.R. Royal Coaches”, in Railway Magazine, page 371:
      Insulation against sound and changes in external temperature is given by a thickness of asbestos on the inside of the panels.
  2. (mineralogy) Any of asbestos-like forms of several minerals, asbestiforms


Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]




asbestos (third-person singular simple present asbestoses, present participle asbestosing, simple past and past participle asbestosed)

  1. To coat or line with asbestos.
    • 1919, The Saturday Evening Post, volume 192, page 93, column 4:
      “Be sure you have plenty of kindling before you begin. They are rather non-inflammable and well asbestosed, so to speak.”
    • 1924, International Stereotypers' and Electrotypers’ Union Journal, volume 19, page 22, column 1:
      The latter department will be asbestosed without according to the idea of Professor Swain, whose deductions are that you should wear an overcoat in summer for the reason that what will keep out the cold will keep out the heat.
    • 1960, Records & Briefs, New York, page 538:
      Q. And you considered asbestosing the interior as part of your job, is that correct? A. That’s right.
    • 1961, Midwest, page 11:
      Though respectable ladies thought him a rake,
      He red-leaded Mrs. Brown’s gutter and spout
      And asbestosed the furnace for Mrs. Stout,
      And oh, the six weeks he spent refluing
      The winter home of Mrs. Hewing!
    • 1966, Journal of the Indian Chemical Society, page 658:
      Compound (I) (1.5 g.) and benzaldehyde (1.1 g.) were refluxed in glacial acetic acid (30-35 ml.) in presence of fused sodium acetate (2.6 g.) on an asbestosed wire gauge for 3 hr.
    • 1969, Peter Such, Fallout, House of Anansi Press, page 62:
      The other day one of the men doing the asbestosing on the acid retorts fell in a sulphuric sedimentation tank.
    • 1973, International Journal of Orthodontics, volume 11, page 56, column 2:
      Alginate impressions of the “asbestosed” casts are then made and poured in plaster of paris.
    • 1986, John Booth, Wonders of Magic: A Veteran Magician’s Book of Original Tricks, Concepts, Pictures, Memoirs, and Conjuring History, Ridgeway Press, →ISBN, page 116:
      He actually was inside the asbestosed box buried under a roaring fire.
    • 1995, The Railway Magazine, volume 141, page 32, column 2:
      CLASS Nos. 26035 and 26038 have been de-asbestosed by MC Metals, of Glasgow, ready for their move to the South Yorkshire Railway at Meadowhall.
    • 1996, Kisan World, volume 23, page 55, column 1:
      Since low temperature is prevailing in hilly regions, tiled or asbestosed houses can be used to raise the room temperature.
    • 2008, John Peterson, Andrea Birdsall, “4. The European Commission: enlargement as reinvention?”, in Edward Best, Thomas Christiansen, Pierpaolo Settembri, editors, The Institutions of the Enlarged European Union: Continuity and Change, Edward Elgar Publishing, page 61:
      Under Barroso, Commissioners were re-housed together in the new, refurbished (de-asbestosed) Berlaymont building in central Brussels.
    • 2010, Nicholas Hagger, “Book One: September 11th: America under Attack”, “Invocations to Homer, Milton, Heath-Stubbs, Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt”, in Armageddon: The Triumph of Universal Order: An Epic Poem on The War on Terror and of Holy-War Crusaders, O Books, →ISBN, page 45:
      Now Bush wondered / If the collapse of the three buildings could / Somehow be linked to an insurance scam / To win a fortune from asbestosed steel.
  2. To expose to asbestos; to cause to suffer asbestosis.
    • 1990, The Nairobi Law Monthly, page 2, column 3:
      Lungs asbestosed / unable to breath[sic] / and so incapable / of producing for profit / sent away without delay / so a fresh lunged / could occupy / the vacant place.
  3. (figurative) To insulate or buffer.
    • 1922, The Insurance Press, volume 54, page 6, column 3:
      Is Malcolm J. Miller’s South Carolina Sinking Fund partly immune, partly asbestosed, or what?
    • 1992, Chapman, →ISBN, page 84:
      Whatever air’s asbestosing the prayers / Of this sparse April parlour must splutter / To dust until it dismantles itself.
    • 1995, Tejdeep, Caught in a Stampede, Sterling Publishers, →ISBN, page 110:
      Not enough if you / garlanded me before twenty, / asbestosed me several times / around the conjugal fire.
    • 2017, Karl Meade, Odd Jobs: Misadventures of the Copy-Cat Cat Burglars, FriesenPress, →ISBN:
      Like the house, I’d had my shiny youth of new love, my stuccoed divorce, my asbestosed fallout of pipe pain and dry-rot, my ill-conceived disco years, and my disastrous mid-life reno.



asbestos m pl

  1. plural of asbesto