- any of various viscid, amorphous exudations from plants, hardening on exposure to air and soluble in or forming a viscid mass with water.
- any of various similar exudations, as resin.
- a preparation of such a substance, as for use in the arts or bookbinding.
- chewing gum.
- mucilage; glue.
- rubber1(def 1).
- gum tree.
- Philately. the adhesive by which a postage stamp is affixed.Compare o.g.(def 1).
- Informal. a rubber overshoe or boot.
- to smear, stiffen, or stick together with gum.
- to clog with or as if with some gummy substance.
- to exude or form gum.
- to become gummy.
- to become clogged with a gummy substance.
- gum up, Slang. to spoil or ruin.
- gum up the works. work(def 51).
Origin of gum1
- 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
- by gum, (used as a mild oath).
Origin of gum3
Examples from the Web for gum
Tessie rose, unrolled her scented handkerchief, and taking a bit of gum from a knot in the hem, placed it in her mouth.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
Republicans throw up procedural obstacles just to gum up the works and run out the clock.John McCain to the Rescue as Senate Deal Breaks Nominee Logjam
July 17, 2013
Having localized the jaw pain, it quickly becomes unbearable, and I spit the gum out to give my tired face a rest.
I gather up my laptop and toss the mess of gum wrappers and chewed spearmint globs into the trash can.
Walmart uses a lot more labor per sale than Costco does because it sells more than one kind of gum, and not always by the 24-pack.Why Can’t Walmart Be More Like Costco?
November 26, 2012
With pitch, gum, or grease, they covered up the cracks or seams.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
Here is a piece of gum benzoin, the substance from which Friar's balsam is made.
Dissolve the gum and honey in it, and strain it through muslin.The Skilful Cook
Then, so an English writer tells us, a use was found for the gum—and a name.The Age of Invention
For marbling books or paper, dissolve four ounces of gum arabac in two quarts of water, and pour it into a broad vessel.
- 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!
- genitourinary medicine
Word Origin and History for gum
"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.