Definition of cement in US English:



  • 1A powdery substance made with calcined lime and clay. It is mixed with water to form mortar or mixed with sand, gravel, and water to make concrete.

    • ‘Substituting adobe clay for cement is one option for a more sustainable approach.’
    • ‘No more than six gallons of water per bag of cement should be used.’
    • ‘These were dry cast, which is a technique that dates back to ancient times and calls for tamping a mixture of sand, cement, and water into a mold.’
    • ‘They're as mundane as the flour, cocoa, and sugar in brownie mix or the sand, gravel, and cement used to make concrete.’
    • ‘Construction methods are traditional: earth bricks, stone, gravel, cement and sand, with flat or thatched roofs.’
    • ‘We were having some building work done and there was cement, sand and mortar lying around.’
    • ‘The mortar mix used for the vintage building consisted of a Portland cement-slacked lime putty created by mixing cement and lime.’
    • ‘It contains clay which, like cement, holds things together.’
    • ‘Plaster, like sand, lime and cement, is not an expensive material and at its simplest level is not difficult to use.’
    • ‘Yesterday we went to Jewsons and ordered some fence panels, posts, sand, gravel, cement etc.’
    • ‘An identifying phrase that probably Goss himself inscribed on the photograph identifies the white substance as gunite, a solution of cement and water used as a finisher.’
    • ‘This figure is the ratio of sand to the sum of the Portland cement, lime, and mortar cement or masonry cement in the mortar.’
    • ‘Weigh shovelsful of lime and cement separately so you can calculate approximate water needs for your mix.’
    • ‘Pebbles and old quarry tiles had been used to fill in the gap, with the whole area brushed with a dry mix of sand and cement to fill in the cracks, and watered in using a watering can.’
    • ‘This summer the National Trust asked St Blaise Conservation, directed by Keith Garner, RIBA, to replace the cement with lime mortar.’
    • ‘On all these levels, I invite you to celebrate the richness of gravel, sand and cement mixed together with water and allowed to cure.’
    • ‘Cementitious grout of two parts sand to one part cement can be injected below the curled slab edges.’
    • ‘The solution that Mr Valentine came up with is a single sheet of waterproof material that can be formed into an open container which can carry anything from sand and cement to water.’
    • ‘On the other hand, you still need to have sand, cement and crushed stone trucked in, and then you have to shovel it into the mixer.’
    • ‘Since the plaster is a composite material using appropriate qualities of cement, sand and aggregate, the final material has a dull color.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for concrete
      • ‘West Wiltshire MP Andrew Murrison has challenged the Environment Agency's plans to allow the burning of toxic waste in cement and lime kilns.’
      • ‘The building itself was vintage East German, thin marble facades pasted onto cement, cracked tiles, and plenty of glass to let in the roasting sun.’
      • ‘‘We had to learn how to work with cinder block, cement, and stucco,’ says Ecker-Haleva.’
      • ‘Suddenly Ryeda could hear the small screeches of rubber meeting cement at such a high speed as the place came to run on the runaway.’
      • ‘Traditional terrazzo is made of cement and marble with extra marble chips on the surface.’
      • ‘Many people find a place without carpeting is best from a maintenance point of view as tile or cement is a lot easier to clean.’
      • ‘There was a heavy smacking noise as my hands contacted the cement, and then a softer crack as my right shoulder joint shifted out of position.’
      • ‘The cool cement was smooth beneath my feet, and a soft breeze wound its way through our hair.’
      • ‘Suddenly tears sprung from her eyes, slowly sliding off her soft cheeks and landing onto the cement, each tear bringing out more sorrow.’
      • ‘Wall materials such as stucco, cement, brick, plaster, stone, and block are most resistant to high temperatures.’
      • ‘With the availability of cement cobble stones and tiles, the paths could be properly laid for the use of those who want to take a walk or jog.’
      • ‘More affluent farmers live in homes constructed of cement, with tile roofs.’
      • ‘She tried to slow down her breathing as she took soft steps on the cement.’
      • ‘The exuberant, deadly light embraced the dank alley as it sped toward Zarl, uprooting the earth once trapped by cement and gravel.’
      • ‘The roofs are not made of cement and hence the mixed name.’
      • ‘Manda froze, feeling as if her feet were glued to the cement, before someone tackled her to the ground.’
      • ‘The room is constructed of cinderblocks, gravel, and cement, giving it a very old-fashioned medieval dungeon like appearance.’
    2. 1.2 A soft glue that hardens on setting.
      ‘rubber cement’
      • ‘‘Hey Adam thanks for letting me use your spiking glue and spiking cement today,’ Ian said.’
      • ‘If I were you, I would glue the base tape back on with Barge cement.’
      • ‘I routed a slot on the underside of the sole rubber to accommodate the head of the screw and glued them back on with contact cement.’
      • ‘I placed the front panel of California face down on the floor and used Dap Weldwood contact cement to glue side-pieces along the edges.’
      • ‘If you have quick-set epoxy or muffler cement, patch the leaks after allowing the damaged section to dry thoroughly.’
      adhesive, glue, fixative, gum, paste, bonding, binder, sealer, sealant
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 An element that unites a group of people.
      ‘traditional entertainment was a form of community cement’
      • ‘Time and again we seek in our sport the consolation of the old values and virtues that were once the only social cement that held Ireland together in the worst of times.’
      • ‘In all cases, nationalism and patriotism proved powerful cement for bonding the state with society.’
      • ‘The cement that holds together the various strands of the Bush administration is their pocketbooks and stock market portfolios.’
      • ‘As we will see in the next chapter, these emotions may be the cement that binds human society together.’
      • ‘What held this strange alliance of East Belfast back street preacher and born again estate agent together was the cement of sectarianism.’
      • ‘But in the last analysis discipline is a crucial part of the cement which binds armed forces together.’
      • ‘Without effective state support for disciplinary sanctions, voluntary consensus was the only real cement for community.’
      • ‘Islam was the cement he used to unite the Arab tribes; commerce was to be the only noble occupation.’
      • ‘And it has served as the cement that has bound Europe together.’
      • ‘It also provided a social cement in new urban communities.’
      • ‘In today's less hierarchical business world, trust is the cement that holds organisations together.’
      • ‘We may regard the DANCE ANNUAL DIRECTORY as a bunch of names and numbers, but it truly is the cement of our community.’
      • ‘Politics was the cement which bound the late John Healy and myself, as Editor, to the young team that launched a pioneering regional newspaper.’
      • ‘The ideological cement binding the nation was the White Australia Policy, championed by the Australian Labor Party.’
    4. 1.4 A substance for filling cavities in teeth.
      • ‘The Israeli surgeons say that a form of root canal treatment by injection of cement may be effective in a range of bone and joint disorders.’
      • ‘All electrodes were soldered to a miniature socket, which was attached to the skull with dental cement.’
      • ‘Bonding between the cement and dental hard tissues is achieved through an ionic exchange at the interface.’
    5. 1.5Anatomy A thin layer of bony material that fixes teeth to the jaw.
      • ‘A bony layer of cementum covers the outside of the root, under the gum line, and holds the tooth in place within the jawbone.’
      • ‘After further validation of their findings, Shi said he and his colleagues decided to pursue the next big question: Could these stem cells actually form periodontal ligament and cementum when transplanted into mice?’
      • ‘These teeth are, however, surrounded by a layer of cementum.’
      • ‘The fibres of the periodontal ligament attach through cementum to the dentine surface.’
      • ‘The root is encased by cementum, which is much thinner than enamel and not as durable.’
    6. 1.6Geology The material which binds particles together in sedimentary rock.
      • ‘These hard, round spheres of sedimentary rock cement are carried into place by ground water.’
      • ‘It postdates calcite cement as the latest pore-filling material.’
      • ‘Geopetal infillings in the internal cavity of the shells were observed and represented by poorly lithified micritic and aragonitic cement.’
      • ‘The tight grain packing and typical absence of cement in the ejecta show that porosity loss has gone to completion and hence the volume reduction will be equivalent to or exceed the initial porosity.’
      • ‘Deformation bands and early calcite cement develop upon wall-rock contraction after fluidization ceased and fluid pressures dropped.’


[with object]
  • 1Attach with cement.

    ‘wooden posts were cemented into the ground’
    • ‘The nearby Jubilee Garden, next to the Old Bell Hotel, has four benches, which have been cemented to the ground because of previous problems with vandalism.’
    • ‘My mail box was also blown up three times last year until I mounted a 20-pound one on a solid steel post cemented into the ground.’
    • ‘I was holding the nose of my board and saw it go straight towards the base of the rail where it was cemented to the ground.’
    • ‘Thieves broke chains cemented into the ground to gain access to the machine, before driving through the side of the hut leaving a gaping hole.’
    • ‘It's best to mount the house on a metal pole that's cemented into the ground.’
    • ‘But they just stood there, as if their feet were cemented to the ground.’
    • ‘We're making sure that every brick is the right brick and that it's firmly cemented into the wall.’
    • ‘I made a start yesterday by cementing the first supporting post in but I'll have to wait till the weekend till I can get back to it.’
    • ‘The bench is cemented to the ground so they can't move it, so it's my landmark.’
    • ‘Because of his love of horse riding, his parents, Janice and Glynn, bought a brass horse which was cemented into the ground next to his grave.’
    • ‘The concrete blocks were placed on the street's surface, using interlocking sections and were not cemented to the ground.’
    • ‘But it was as if her feet had been cemented to the ground.’
    • ‘Low retaining walls have been cemented onto the sloping rock surface to channel the water into a reservoir at the base of the outcrop.’
    stick, bond, join, connect
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Settle or establish firmly.
      ‘the two firms are expected to cement an agreement soon’
      • ‘They are well-matched and mutually dependent with the barest hint of latent sexual attraction to cement their bond as reckless partners in crime.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, outside the United States, the Abu Ghraib story doesn't so much ‘damage’ our reputation, as it merely cements it.’
      • ‘Marriage connections help cement the relationship - his wife, Lady Margaret, is the sister of David Ogilvy, the 13 th Earl of Airlie.’
      • ‘He added: ‘It's huge for the city because it cements our standing as a world banking centre - not just as a part of Manhattan, but standing alone as a world banking centre now.’’
      • ‘Apart from creating employment is also serves to enhance the area and cement community and social bonds.’
      • ‘The plant, which will initially produce 100,000 cars a year beginning in 2006, cements Guangdong's favoured-location status with Japanese carmakers.’
      • ‘Conversely, even in the most cosmopolitan of line-ups, where you're lucky if English is the second language for half the squad, nothing cements international peace and brotherhood as effectively as success.’
      • ‘If not selfless, then maybe Rashbrook is selfish in cementing her romantic bond with new cells - the everyday parental narcissism that is unlikely to be propitious for children.’
      • ‘Malinowski found that kula cements social bonds between island groups, and according to anthropologist Richard Harper this makes it an ideal basis for new ways to make technology useful.’
      • ‘Today's news that the surplus has more than doubled to $5.3 billion cements their place in history and opens the way for an even bigger pre-election bidding war.’
      • ‘Now, 13 years after his information technology firm was born, McSherry's drive is paying off as Prosys Business Solutions cements its reputation a one of the country's most innovative companies.’
      • ‘The religious and cultural bonds further cemented those ties with village people, which they remember with nostalgia.’
      • ‘As boys become men, they enter a working world that often reinforces the psychologically debilitating lessons of their childhood, a world where humiliation cements hierarchies in place.’
      • ‘Both leaders sought to reinvigorate the US-European bonds that were cemented during and after World War II.’
      • ‘With Dudley cementing their place to join Bedford in the divisional leagues, one relegation place remains to be determined.’
      • ‘It cements the commonly held view that the former prime minister has long been a useful, though informal, mediator and adviser to both sides in the cross-strait face-off between China and Taiwan.’
      • ‘Finally, elitist condescension, however merited, helps cement Bush's bond to the masses.’
      • ‘The Corrugated Iron Club which is actually maintained by Common Ground thus further cementing my utter admiration for this fantastic organisation.’
      • ‘Fame and recognition has only cemented his attachment to Vadugapatti, his native village in Theni district.’
      • ‘Despite the mist and rain, love affairs between soldiers and Faroe islanders blossomed, cementing the centuries-old connections between the two fishing nations.’
    2. 1.2Geology (of a material) bind (particles) together in sedimentary rock.
      • ‘Movement along the vein resulted in a breccia that was cemented by additional quartz and prehnite along with copper mineralization.’
      • ‘The sediment is cemented by material derived from pore waters and grain dissolution.’
      • ‘The composition of the lode is similar to that of the Isle Royale lode and consists of fragments of the oxidized brecciated flow top cemented by quartz, calcite, prehnite, and epidote.’
      • ‘This material cemented nuggets of gold and contained gold itself.’
      • ‘Outcrops of the Leadville Limestone at the south end of Main Street contain vugs of quartz crystals that have cemented brecciated limestone.’


Middle English: from Old French ciment (noun), cimenter (verb), from Latin caementum ‘quarry stone’, from caedere ‘hew’.