- 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
- to cover, dab, or stiffen with gum
- informal to make a mess of; bungle (often in the phrase gum up the works)
- 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 gum up
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with gum up
Ruin or bungle something, as in The front office has gummed up the sales campaign thoroughly. This idiom is also put as gum up the works, as in John's changes in procedures have gummed up the works in the shipping department. [Slang; c. 1900]