asbestos


asbestos
[14] Originally, the word we now know as asbestos was applied in the Middle Ages to a mythical stone which, once set alight, could never be put out; it came from the Greek compound ásbestos, literally ‘inextinguishable’, which was formed from the prefix a- ‘not’ and sbestós, a derivative of the verb sbennúnai ‘extinguish’. However, by the time it first came into English, its form was not quite what it is today. To begin with, it was the Greek accusative form, ásbeston, that was borrowed, and in its passage from Latin through Old French it developed several variants, including asbeston and albeston, most of which turned up in English. Then, in the early 17th century, the word was reborrowed from the original Greek source, ásbestos, and applied to a noncombustible silicate mineral.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Asbestos — Administration Pays  Canada Province …   Wikipédia en Français

  • asbestos — [as bes′təs, azbes′təs] n. [ME asbestus < L asbestos < Gr, inextinguishable < a , not + sbestos < sbennynai, to extinguish: first applied in Gr & L to unslaked lime or a mineral other than asbestos] any of several grayish minerals, as …   English World dictionary

  • asbestos — (n.) 1650s, earlier albeston, abestus (c.1100), name of a fabulous stone, which, set afire, could not be extinguished; from O.Fr. abeste, abestos, from L. asbestos quicklime (which burns when cold water is poured on it), from Gk. asbestos, lit.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • asbestos — n. A silicate mineral that resists heat and can be woven into fire resistant material. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • Asbestos — v. du Canada (Québec); 6 480 hab. Importante mine d amiante …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ASBESTOS — lapis ferrei coloris, qui accensus semel exstingui nequitur; eum Arcadia mittit, Solin. c. 7. In montibus Arcadiae nasci, Plin. l. 37. c. 10. habet. Qui idem Asbesti lini meminit quod in desertis adustisque Sole Indiae nasei prodit, sed rarum… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • asbestos — ► NOUN ▪ a highly heat resistant fibrous silicate mineral, used in fire resistant and insulating materials. ORIGIN from Greek, unquenchable …   English terms dictionary

  • Asbestos — For other uses, see Asbestos (disambiguation). Fibrous asbestos on muscovite …   Wikipedia

  • asbestos — asbestine /as bes tin, az /, asbestous, adj. asbestoid, asbestoidal, adj. /as bes teuhs, az /, n. 1. Mineral. a fibrous mineral, either amphibole or chrysotile, formerly used for making incombustible or fireproof articles. 2. a fabric woven from… …   Universalium

  • Asbestos — Asbestus As*bes tus, Asbestos As*bes tos (?; 277), n. [L. asbestos (NL. asbestus) a kind of mineral unaffected by fire, Gr. ? (prop. an adj.) inextinguishable; a priv. + ? to extinguish.] (Min.) A variety of amphibole or of pyroxene, occurring in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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