Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: ROADS

Date: 1900-2000
Origin: Tarmac, a trademark, from tarmacadam 'tarmac' (19-20 centuries), from tar + macadam 'smooth hard road surface' (19-20 centuries) (from John L. McAdam (1756-1836), Scottish engineer who invented the process)

tarmac

1 noun
     
tar‧mac1 trademark
1 also tar‧ma‧cad‧am British English [uncountable]TTR a mixture of tar and very small stones, used for making the surface of roads [= asphalt]
2

the tarmac

TTA an area covered with tarmac outside airport buildings
on the tarmac
Journalists waited on the tarmac to question him.
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