Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Bitumen


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Latin bitūmen.



bitumen (countable and uncountable, plural bitumina or bitumens)

  1. Mineral pitch; a black, tarry substance, burning with a bright flame. It occurs as an abundant natural product in many places, as on the shores of the Dead and Caspian Seas. It is used in cements, in the construction of pavements, etc.
    Synonym: Jew's pitch
    • 2014 August 24, Jeff Howell, “Home improvements: gravel paths and cutting heating bills [print version: Cold comfort in technology, 23 August 2014, p. P5]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Property)[2]:
      You need to excavate and remove the topsoil, line the subsoil with a geotextile, then lay and compact hardcore. Follow this with a layer of compacted "hoggin" – compacted clay, gravel and sand. This is then sprayed with hot bitumen, and has a layer of pea shingle rolled into it.
  2. (by extension) Any one of the natural hydrocarbons, including the hard, solid, brittle varieties called asphalt, the semisolid maltha and mineral tars, the oily petrolea, and even the light, volatile naphthas.
  3. (Canada) Canadian deposits of extremely heavy crude oil.[1]


Derived terms[edit]



bitumen (third-person singular simple present bitumens, present participle bitumening, simple past and past participle bitumened)

  1. To cover or fill with bitumen.
    Synonym: bituminize
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought):

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “Archived copy”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[1], accessed 20 October 2007, archived from the original on 20 October 2007



From Middle Dutch bitume, from Latin bitūmen, which later influenced the spelling.


  • IPA(key): /ˌbiˈty.mə(n)/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: bi‧tu‧men


bitumen n (plural bitumina)

  1. bitumen, mineral pitch
    Synonyms: aardhars, aardpek, bergteer, jodenlijm

Related terms[edit]



The latter element is the common suffix -men; the former is from Proto-Indo-European *gʷétu (pitch) via an Italic language in which * became b, e.g. Oscan or Umbrian.[1] (The traditional derivation from Celtic is implausible as the related Celtic words—Old Irish beithe, Welsh bedw, and the Gaulish source of Spanish biezo—mean only ‘birch’, not ‘pitch’.)

Cognate with Scottish Gaelic bìth (resin, gum), English cud, Sanskrit जतु (jatu, lac, gum). Influenced by ferrūmen (cement, glue).



bitūmen n (genitive bitūminis); third declension

  1. mineral pitch, bitumen


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative bitūmen bitūmina
Genitive bitūminis bitūminum
Dative bitūminī bitūminibus
Accusative bitūmen bitūmina
Ablative bitūmine bitūminibus
Vocative bitūmen bitūmina

Related terms[edit]


  • French: béton
  • Italian: bitume
  • Portuguese: betume
  • Spanish: betún
  • English: bitumen
  • German: Bitumen
  • Russian: би́тум m (bítum)


  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 65