Origin: L. From Gr.; orig. The name of a thorny tree found in Egypt; prob. Fr. The root ak to be sharp. See Acute.

1. A genus of leguminous trees and shrubs. Nearly 300 species are Australian or Polynesian, and have terete or vertically compressed leaf stalks, instead of the bipinnate leaves of the much fewer species of America, Africa, etc. Very few are found in temperate climates.

2. <medicine> The inspissated juice of several species of acacia.

Synonyms: gum acacia, and gum arabic.

(01 Mar 1998)

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