Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tarmacadam road or surface, especially an airport runway.
  • transitive v. To cause (an aircraft) to sit on a taxiway.
  • intransitive v. To sit on a taxiway. Used of an aircraft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The bituminous surface of a road.
  • n. Area of an airport where planes park or maneuver.
  • v. To pave
  • v. To spend time idling on a runway, usually waiting for takeoff clearance

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Originally a trademark.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortening of tarmacadam, which is tar + macadam (crushed stones).

Examples

Comments

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  • Maybe a little tart.

    April 29, 2009

  • If Tarmac wed Tartish would they have a tar baby?

    April 29, 2009

  • Originally a trademark name, short for tarmacadam (1882), pavement created by spraying tar over crushed stone, a process invented by John McAdam. By 1919, tarmac had come into use (mostly in Great Britain) to mean runway.

    March 2, 2007