General Science

  • noun bricks made from fine clay, dried in the sun


  • Earthen, sun-cured brick. A relatively labor-intensive, but low-embodied energy material, adobe absorbs excess heat during hot days and releases it during cool nights, thereby moderating a building's internal temperature.

Information & Library Science

  • (written as Adobe)
    a trade name for a leading producer of graphics and desktop publishing software

Origin & History of “adobe”

Adobe is of Egyptian origin, from the time of the pharaohs. It comes from Coptic tōbe ‘brick’ (the form t.b appears in hieroglyphs). this was borrowed into Arabic, where the addition of the definite article al produced attob ‘the brick’. From Arabic it passed into Spanish (the corridor through which so many Arabic words reached other European languages), and its use by the Spanish-speaking population of north America (for a sun-dried brick) led to its adoption into English in the mid 18th century.