Origin: OE. Gome, AS. Gama palate; akin Co G. Gaumen, OHG. Goumo, guomo, Icel. Gmr, Sw. Gom; cf. Gr. To gape.
1. A vegetable secretion of many trees or plants that hardens when it exudes, but is soluble in water; as, gum arabic; gum tragacanth; the gum of the cherry tree. Also, with less propriety, exudations that are not soluble in water; as, gum copal and gum sandarac, which are really resins.
<zoology> Gum animal, the galago of West Africa; so called because it feeds on gums. See Galago. Gum animi or anime. See Anime. Gum arabic, a gum yielded mostly by several species of Acacia (chiefly A. Vera and A. Arabica) growing in Africa and Southern Asia; called also gum acacia. East Indian gum arabic comes from a tree of the Orange family which bears the elephant apple. Gum butea, a gum yielded by the Indian plants Butea frondosa and B. Superba, and used locally in tanning and in precipitating indigo. Gum cistus, a plant of the genus Cistus (Cistus ladaniferus), a species of rock rose. Gum dragon. See Tragacanth. Gum elastic, Elastic gum. See Caoutchouc. Gum elemi. See Elemi. Gum juniper. See Sandarac. Gum kino. See Kino. Gum lac. See Lac. Gum Ladanum, a fragrant gum yielded by several Oriental species of Cistus or rock rose. Gum passages, sap receptacles extending through the parenchyma of certain plants (Amygdalaceae, Cactaceae, etc), and affording passage for gum. Gum pot, a varnish maker's utensil for melting gum and mixing other ingredients. Gum resin, the milky juice of a plant solidified by exposure to air; one of certain inspissated saps, mixtures of, or having properties of, gum and resin; a resin containing more or less mucilaginous and gummy matter. Gum sandarac. See Sandarac. Gum Senegal, a gum similar to gum arabic, yielded by trees (Acacia Verek and A. Adansonia) growing in the Senegal country, West Africa. Gum tragacanth. See Tragacanth. Gum tree, the name given to several trees in America and Australia: The black gum (Nyssa multiflora), one of the largest trees of the Southern States, bearing a small blue fruit, the favorite food of the opossum. most of the large trees become hollow. A tree of the genus Eucalyptus. See Eucalpytus. The sweet gum tree of the United States (Liquidambar styraciflua), a large and beautiful tree with pointedly lobed leaves and woody burlike fruit. It exudes an aromatic terebinthine juice. Gum water, a solution of gum, especially. Of gum arabic, in water. Gum wood, the wood of any gum tree, esp. The wood of the Eucalyptus piperita, of new South Wales.
Origin: OE. Gomme, gumme, F. Gomme, L. Gummi and commis, fr. Gr, prob. From an Egyptian form kam; cf. It. Gomma.
(01 Mar 1998)
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