• synonyms


[buh-lah-tuh, bal-uh-tuh]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. a nonelastic, rubberlike, water-resistant gum that softens in hot water and is obtained from the latex of a tropical American tree, Manilkara bidentata: used chiefly in the manufacture of machinery belts, golf ball covers, and as a substitute for gutta percha.Compare bully tree.
  2. a tree, Mimusops balata, of Madagascar.

Origin of balata

1855–60; < American Spanish < Carib
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for balata

Historical Examples

  • Actually, he knew he could get an easy twenty-five balata for the bauble in Karth.

    The Players

    Everett B. Cole

  • The joins are dried in the sun, after which the tray is made water-tight with a lining of balata.


    Edith A. Browne

  • At Balata it is said that the city gate of ancient Shechem was uncovered.

    Archology and the Bible

    George A. Barton

  • Distinct from rubber, but closely akin to it, are the two materials known as gutta-percha and balata.


    Edith A. Browne

  • Then he makes a dabree, a large tray about half a foot deep, in which balata latex is coagulated.


    Edith A. Browne

British Dictionary definitions for balata


  1. a tropical American sapotaceous tree, Manilkara bidentata, yielding a latex-like sap
  2. a rubber-like gum obtained from this sap: used as a substitute for gutta-percha

Word Origin

from American Spanish, of Carib origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012