a. A building material made by grinding calcined limestone and clay to a fine powder, which can be mixed with water and poured to set as a solid mass or used as an ingredient in making mortar or concrete.
b. Portland cement.
2. A substance that hardens to act as an adhesive; glue.
3. Something that serves to bind or unite: "Custom was in early days the cement of society" (Walter Bagehot).
4. Geology A chemically precipitated substance that binds particles of clastic rocks.
5. Dentistry A substance used for filling cavities or anchoring crowns, inlays, or other restorations.
6. Variant of cementum.
v. ce·ment·ed, ce·ment·ing, ce·ments
1. To bind with or as if with cement.
2. To cover or coat with cement.
To become cemented.
Firmly settled or determined; unalterable: The administration's position on taxes was set in cement despite the unfavorable public response.
[Middle English, from Old French ciment, from Latin caementum, rough-cut stone, rubble used in making concrete, from caedere, to cut; see kaə-id- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.