- Often gums. Also called gingiva. the firm, fleshy tissue covering the alveolar parts of either jaw and enveloping the necks of the teeth.
- to masticate (food) with the gums instead of teeth.
- to shape or renew the teeth of (a saw), as by grinding.
- beat one's gums, Slang. to talk excessively or ineffectively.
Origin of gum2
- genitourinary medicine
- any of various sticky substances that exude from certain plants, hardening on exposure to air and dissolving or forming viscous masses in water
- any of various products, such as adhesives, that are made from such exudates
- any sticky substance used as an adhesive; mucilage; glue
- NZ short for kauri gum
- See chewing gum, bubble gum, gumtree
- mainly British a gumdrop
- to cover or become covered, clogged, or stiffened with or as if with gum
- (tr) to stick together or in place with gum
- (intr) to emit or form gum
- the fleshy tissue that covers the jawbones around the bases of the teethTechnical name: gingiva Related adjective: gingival
- used in the mild oath by gum!
Word Origin and History for beat one's gums
"resin," c.1300, from Old French gome "(medicinal) gum, resin," from Late Latin gumma, from Latin gummi, from Greek kommi "gum," from Egyptian kemai. As a shortened form of chewing gum, first attested 1842 in American English. The gum tree (1670s) was so called for the resin it exudes.
"membranes of the mouth," Old English goma "palate, side of the mouth" (single or plural), from a Germanic source represented by Old Norse gomi "palate," Old High German goumo; related to Lithuanian gomurys "palate," and perhaps from PIE *gheu- "to yawn" (cf. Greek khaos; see chaos).
early 14c., gommen, "treat with (medicinal or aromatic) gums," from gum (n.1). In the transferred or figurative sense of "spoil, ruin" (usually with up), it is first recorded 1901, probably from the notion of machinery becoming clogged. Of infants, etc., "to chew or gnaw (something) with the gums," by 1907, from gum (n.2). Related: Gummed; gumming.
- Any of various sticky substances that are produced by certain plants and trees and dry into brittle solids soluble in water. Gums typically are colloidal mixtures of polysaccharides and mineral salts.
- See gingiva.