In the general sense, a cement is any material with adhesive properties. The term cement is also commonly used to refer more specifically to powdered materials which develop strong adhesive qualities when combined with water. These materials are more properly known as hydraulic cements. Gypsum plaster, common lime, hydraulic limes, natural pozzolana and Portland cements are the more common hydraulic cements, with Portland cement being the most important in construction.

Hydraulic cement was first invented by the Egyptians, and later reinvented by the Greeks and Babylonians, who made their mortar out of lime, much harder than the Roman mortars. Later, the Romans produced a good cement from pozzolanic ash.

In geology, the term is used to refer to the fine-grained minerals which bind the coarser-grained matrix in sedimentary rocks. Such cements are typically composed of calcite, quartz or clay minerals.

Cement is also the name of Chuck Mosley's post Faith No More band. Additionally, CEMENT is an acronym for Computer Enhanced Multiple Exposure Numerical Technique in which multiple pictures of the same subject matter are "cemented" together to attain increased picture resolution or for artistic visual lightspaces. Additionally, Microsoft operating systems may be used. Windows CE, ME, and NT together form Windows CEMENT.