Definition of macadam in English:



  • Broken stone of even size used in successively compacted layers for surfacing roads and paths, and typically bound with tar or bitumen.

    • ‘In 1906 Eltham's Bridge Street and High Street became the first tarred macadam (tar-sealed) roads in New Zealand.’
    • ‘The dense bitumen macadam surface, in the absence of any other dressing, tends to polish and became dangerous, particularly after rain.’
    • ‘I retraced my route down the gold brick driveway out to the macadam state road.’
    • ‘The roads shall have sensory speed detectors, traffic lights and tar macadam.’
    • ‘While meticulous plan after meticulous plan succeeded in liberating half a ton of gold bullion, the scheme was bound to be foiled by the windy alpine roads, and a piece of damaged macadam.’
    • ‘Scribbled in her untidy scrawl were the words I love Nate Litz written across her macadam driveway in a pale rose-colored chalk.’
    • ‘The dust clouds raised by cars were still asphyxiating, but macadam was slowly bringing relief.’
    • ‘Paving was usually done with asphalt or macadam, though brick paving blocks were also used.’
    • ‘Some stall floors are macadam and stone dust with bedding over top.’
    • ‘We will be continuing our programme of macadam overlays for regional and local roads around the county.’
    • ‘It left the macadam in the streets cracked and flaking.’
    • ‘In the absence of surface dressing, dense bitumen macadam tends to polish and become dangerous.’
    • ‘The bituminous material at each site was dense bituminous macadam, which typically had a bitumen content of 4.0-4.5%.’
    • ‘Once the newly laid lanes are open, the existing road will be shut to traffic and the top layer will be scraped off and fresh wet mix macadam laid.’
    • ‘He made the point that a dense bitumen macadam base course was not designed to be skid resistant and he was not aware of any specification for skid resistance on a base course.’
    • ‘Thanks to balky local governments, the full length was not finally surfaced with concrete or macadam until 1937.’
    • ‘The result was that in 1906, Eltham became the first town in New Zealand to have a tarred macadam (tar-sealed) street.’
    • ‘Going by the calculations of the Chennai Corporation, each square metre of road laid with bituminous macadam costs the civic body Rs.450.’
    • ‘How good a road is going to be depends on how the design is laid out initially vis-a-vis the layer of bitumen, macadam, coat of slurry seal or fog seal.’
    • ‘Its fertile soil was seeded in shame with concrete and macadam, and what grew were traffic lanes and cities like Plainfield, hot and steamy in the month of July.’


Early 19th century: named after John L. McAdam (1756–1836), the British surveyor who advocated using this material.