• synonyms


or gam·bir

  1. an astringent extract obtained from the leaves and young shoots of a tropical Asian shrub, Uncaria gambir, of the madder family, used in medicine, dyeing, tanning, etc.
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Origin of gambier

First recorded in 1820–30, gambier is from the Malay word gambir the name of the plant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gambier

Historical Examples

  • The painting by the late Mr. le Strange and Mr. Gambier Parry.

    Ely Cathedral


  • Captain Gambier's face was resolutely kept in profile to her.

  • Georgians received Captain Gambier's communication in Monmouth.

  • Running to Captain Gambier, she said, "Do you really enjoy this?"

  • They walked on silently, till Wilfrid remarked, that he wondered where Gambier was.

British Dictionary definitions for gambier



  1. an astringent resinous substance obtained from a rubiaceous tropical Asian woody climbing plant, Uncaria gambir (or U. gambier): used as an astringent and tonic and in tanning
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Word Origin

C19: from Malay
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