bitumen (bĭtyōˈmən) [key] a generic term referring to flammable, brown or black mixtures of tarlike hydrocarbons, derived naturally or by distillation from petroleum. It can be in the form of a viscous oil to a brittle solid, including asphalt, tars, and natural mineral waxes. Substances containing bitumens are called bituminous, e.g., bituminous coal, tar, or pitch.
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