gum arabic



a water-soluble, gummy exudate obtained from the acacia tree, especially Acacia senegal, used as an emulsifier, an adhesive, in inks, and in pharmaceuticals.

Nearby words

  1. gulp,
  2. gulper eel,
  3. gum,
  4. gum accroides,
  5. gum ammoniac,
  6. gum band,
  7. gum benzoin,
  8. gum bichromate process,
  9. gum dammar,
  10. gum digger

Origin of gum arabic

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400

Also called acacia, gum acacia. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gum arabic

British Dictionary definitions for gum arabic

gum arabic


a gum exuded by certain acacia trees, esp Acacia senegal: used in the manufacture of ink, food thickeners, pills, emulsifiers, etcAlso called: acacia, gum acacia
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

Science definitions for gum arabic

gum arabic

A gum exuded by various African trees of the genus Acacia, especially A. senegal. Gum arabic is used in the preparation of pills and emulsions, in the manufacture of adhesives and candies, and as a thickener and stabilizer of colloids. Gum arabic consists mostly of a mixture of oligosaccharides and heavy glycoproteins.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.