Adobe ( /əˈdoʊbi/, /əˈdoʊb/; Arabic: الطوب) is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material (sticks, straw, and/or manure), which the builders shape into bricks (using frames) and dry in the sun. Adobe buildings are similar to cob and mudbrick buildings. Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for some of the oldest existing buildings in the world. In hot climates, compared with wooden buildings, adobe buildings offer significant advantages due to their greater thermal mass, but they are known to be particularly susceptible to earthquake damage.
Buildings made of sun-dried earth are common in West Asia, North Africa, West Africa, South America, southwestern North America, Spain (usually in the Mudéjar style), Eastern Europe and East Anglia, particularly Norfolk, known as 'clay lump. Adobe had been in use by indigenous peoples of the Americas in the Southwestern United States, Mesoamerica, and the Andean region of South America for several thousand years, although often substantial amounts of stone are used in the walls of Pueblo buildings. (Also, the Pueblo people built their adobe structures with handfuls or basketfuls of adobe, until the Spanish introduced them to the making of bricks.) Adobe brickmaking was used in Spain starting by the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, from the eighth century B.C. on. Its wide use can be attributed to its simplicity of design and manufacture, and the economy of creating it.
A distinction is sometimes made between the smaller adobes, which are about the size of ordinary baked bricks, and the larger adobines, some of which may be one to two yards (1–2 m) long.