sweet gum

noun
  1. a tall, aromatic tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, of the eastern U.S., having star-shaped leaves and fruits in rounded, burlike clusters.
  2. the hard reddish-brown wood of this tree, used for making furniture.
  3. the amber balsam exuded by this tree, used in the manufacture of perfumes and medicines.

Origin of sweet gum

An Americanism dating back to 1690–1700
Also called red gum (for defs 1, 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sweet gum

sweet gum

noun
  1. a North American liquidambar tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, having prickly spherical fruit clusters and fragrant sap: the wood (called satin walnut) is used to make furnitureCompare sour gum
  2. the sap of this tree
Often shortened to: red gum
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