- a gummy substance derived from various low, spiny, Asian shrubs belonging to the genus Astragalus, of the legume family, especially A. gummifer: used to impart firmness to pills and lozenges, stiffen calicoes, etc.
Origin of tragacanth
Also called gum tragacanth.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tragacanth
Dr John applies the term to all those gums which, like tragacanth, swell, but do not dissolve in water.
He taught me, in the presence of my new mother, how to fix it with some tragacanth gum, and I found myself exactly like my friend.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
It is best administered in lozenges prepared with sugar and tragacanth.
For tragacanth size, colors of great consistency, mostly fine earth colors are the best.
An inferior quality is the tragacanth of Morea, which generally comes from Greece via Trieste.
- any of various spiny leguminous plants of the genus Astragalus, esp A. gummifer, of Asia, having clusters of white, yellow, or purple flowers, and yielding a substance that is made into a gum
- the gum obtained from any of these plants, used in the manufacture of pills and lozenges, etc
C16: from French tragacante, from Latin tragacantha goat's thorn, from Greek tragakantha, from tragos goat + akantha thorn