Definition of bitumen in English:



  • A black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing.

    • ‘The extraction process begins here, where solvent and water begin to separate bitumen from sand and clay.’
    • ‘One of the largest integrated petroleum companies in Canada, the company is a major producer of natural gas, natural gas liquids and bitumen, and the country's largest producer of sulphur.’
    • ‘Corporation officials say that delay in sanctioning funds and the unavailability of bitumen had held up tarring for over eight months.’
    • ‘Another method employed the substance called collyrium; this is a preparation of pitch, bitumen, pounded glass, wax, and mastic.’
    • ‘It might turn out that there is enough flat roof at the top of your flat to pour thousands of pounds worth of bitumen, asphalt and lead onto.’
    • ‘Supposedly, roads laid with a mixture of recycled plastic and bitumen were more durable because of the water-resistant characteristic of plastic.’
    • ‘The crude petroleum is heat-extracted from a mixture of bitumen, sand, water, and clay in an open-pit mining operation.’
    • ‘The overflow car park will not be lit and it will be surfaced with reinforced grass rather than bitumen while 160 parking spaces to the north of the clubhouse have been moved to protect the privacy of Knotty Ash Farm.’
    • ‘It belongs to the same family of substances as asphalt or bitumen.’
    • ‘Unlike the flowing reserves that are pumped out of Dallas, oil sands are actually deposits of bitumen - a tar-like mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons that are attached to sand.’
    • ‘There are three different application techniques for modified bitumen: torching, hot-mopping and cold-applied.’
    • ‘One of the curiosities of the Ironbridge Gorge was a spring of natural bitumen discovered in 1786.’
    • ‘When used as the top layer, they are frequently factory surfaced with granules or bitumen, eliminating the need for field surfacing later on.’
    • ‘Unlike the bitumen used in builtup systems, the bitumen in modified bitumen systems is modified with polymers in order to increase the elasticity and strength of the finished roof.’
    • ‘Thus, the presence of bitumen in correlative parts of the sections is presumably due to the ability of similar shale lithologies to trap and hold bitumen as hydrocarbons migrate through the basin.’
    • ‘At ambient temperature, bitumen is a highly viscous to almost solid substance that is extremely difficult to work with.’
    • ‘The nerve shattering noise was from a petrol driven concrete and bitumen cutting saw so loud that all workers were wearing ear muffs.’
    • ‘Ma'dan have few possessions, typically just a few water buffalo, a gun, some blankets and cooking utensils, and a reed canoe coated with bitumen (tar).’
    • ‘One relatively recent roofing improvement is the development of self-adhered modified bitumen and other self-adhered membrane roofing products.’
    • ‘If the material is accidentally punctured, it can be repaired quickly using mylar tape and bitumen.’
    bitumen, asphalt, tar
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (denoting naturally occurring asphalt used as mortar): from Latin.