One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Resin obtained from any of a number of tropical, chiefly Indo-Malaysian trees, used to make varnish.
The resin is obtained from trees in the families Araucariaceae (genus Agathis), Dipterocarpaceae (genera Hopea, Shorea, and Vatica), and Burseraceae (genus Canarium)
- ‘Acrylic and ketone resins are used in place of the traditional dammar, mastic, and copal resins for the manufacture of many oil painting media and picture varnishes.’
- ‘The native Dayaks use damar (resin collected from the trees) for lamp fuel.’
- ‘Using the ancient method of encaustic painting, Berger combines a rich blend of raw pigment, liquid wax and dammar crystals, which she burns on the surface.’
- ‘They welcomed us in, lighting tapers laced with damar gum that exuded a wonderful smell and were attached to the walls, giving their house the feel of a baronial hall.’
Late 17th century: from Malay damar ‘resin’.
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