Definition of sandarac in English:


(also sandarach, gum sandarac)


mass noun
  • A gum resin obtained from the alerce (cypress) of Spain and North Africa, used in making varnish.

    • ‘The skins have to be rubbed down with sandpaper and gum sandarac to produce the best writing surface; each one takes a good hour to prepare.’
    • ‘It produces sandarac, a resin used for making varnish and incense.’
    • ‘These ‘harder’ resins include Strasbourg turpentine (olio d' abezzo) from the European silver fir, Abies alba and sandarac resin, from Tetraclinis articulata and, possibly, from some Juniperus species.’
    • ‘Dab the sandarac onto the paper through the cloth & hold the paper vertically and tap off any excess.’


Late Middle English (denoting realgar): from Latin sandaraca, from Greek sandarakē, of Asiatic origin. The current sense dates from the mid 17th century.