Main definitions of gum in English

: gum1gum2gum3

gum1

noun

  • 1A viscous secretion of some trees and shrubs that hardens on drying but is soluble in water, and from which adhesives and other products are made.

    Compare with resin
    • ‘Their ‘pens’ were quills and their ink was a mixture of gum, soot and, sometimes, the ink from an octopus.’
    • ‘Combining xanthan gum with locust bean gum will have a similar effect.’
    • ‘Packets of Jellyace Buko Pandan which are labelled as containing locust bean gum, instead of Konjac, are legal and consumers are advised to check the label.’
    • ‘These products are normally some type of long chain polymer or gum that increases the viscosity of the spray mixture.’
    • ‘Then while it was drying itself, they would attach a feather or piece of down to its back with gum or blood or clay, to heighten its visibility as it returned in flight to its nest.’
    • ‘Lampblack was also mixed with olive oil or balsam gum to make ink by early peoples, and Egyptians are known to have used lampblack as eyeliner.’
    • ‘Similar vegetable gums, with the same possible adverse effects, are carrageenan, gum tragacanth, and carob or locust bean gum.’
    • ‘Rubber gum is made up mostly of a hydrocarbon polymer called polyisoprene, the chains of which are composed only of interlinked carbon atoms with some hydrogen atoms attached.’
    • ‘Other packets of Jellyace Buko Bandan labelled as containing locust bean gum are safe.’
    • ‘Guar gum did not produce significant adhesive forces.’
    • ‘I learn that one ice cream ingredient, locust bean gum, was used in ancient Egypt to seal the wrappings on mummies.’
    • ‘The raw silk fiber actually consists of two filaments called fibroin bound by a soluble silk gum called sericin.’
    • ‘A. Guar gum is a soluble fiber from a plant seed pod.’
    • ‘I prefer to mix my own gum by dissolving gum-arabic powder or granules in water, at 1 part gum to 2 parts water.’
    • ‘The proportions of gum and water to be added to a fixed oil, in order to produce a satisfactory emulsion, will vary according to the oil used.’
    • ‘A large, multi-chambered stomach supports bacteria that can break down plant fibres, though they prefer shoots, blossoms, fruit and gum from tree bark.’
    • ‘Experimenters soon found that the hardened gum could be dissolved in turpentine and then reshaped.’
    • ‘After this period of time, they begin to oxidize, forming sludge, varnish, gum and other harmful deposits.’
    • ‘They otherwise feed mainly on tree gum and insects.’
    • ‘Indian or Chinese ink is essentially lampblack (carbon ink) which is mixed with gum and resin and hardened by baking.’
    1. 1.1Glue that is used for sticking paper or other light materials together.
      • ‘He also has a piece of adhesive gum with drawing pins sunk in it which, when combined with a thick rubber band, makes a horrifying catapult.’
      • ‘There are over five hundred million balloons in Europe which have been tied together with string and gum to form Europe City, the capital of Europe.’
    2. 1.2
      short for chewing gum or bubblegum
      • ‘I blew a bubble from the gum I had in my mouth letting it pop loudly as I leaned closer to Kyle, making sure I could see his eyes perfectly.’
      • ‘Caitlin blew a quick bubble with her gum, repositioning her crossed legs that were covered slightly by a highly slit jean skirt.’
      • ‘You could have heard a pin drop; the interrogating lawyer even stopped snapping his gum.’
      • ‘I drop the cold metal cross and look up at him, blowing a bubble with my gum.’
      • ‘When she'd consumed the bitter liquid, she'd chew the gum, blowing great thick pink bubbles with casual aplomb.’
      • ‘Chew gum or suck on hard candy - if your child is older than 3 years.’
      • ‘Josh ambled over to the garbage can, blowing one final bubble before spitting out his gum.’
      • ‘They are conducting a campaign to encourage people not to drop their gum in the streets.’
      • ‘Behind her sat Stacey, one of the most popular cheerleaders of the high school, and she was loudly popping her cotton candy scented gum.’
      • ‘She sat there counting ceiling tiles and blowing bubbles with her gum.’
      • ‘Victoria sat on the edge of her seat, listening attentively and chewing hard on her gum.’
      • ‘She smiled and waved flirtatiously, blowing a bubble with her gum in an attempt to look cute.’
      • ‘They were described as gum shields being decorated boards with holes on top of a bin, the chewer then drops their gum through the hole into the bin.’
      • ‘He started to unfold his gum's wrapper when he fumbled and dropped it on the floor.’
      • ‘A bored looking Sales attendant glanced up from her magazine while absentmindedly blowing a bubble with her gum, and gestured around herself.’
      • ‘His threat to keep us all through lunch ended it, however, and Corey had to satisfy himself by blowing bubbles with his gum.’
      • ‘Lynda walked in, blowing a pink bubble with her gum.’
      • ‘She popped a bubble with her gum, slowly sucking it back into her mouth, making her look like a fish.’
      • ‘Some councillors were in favour of issuing £50 on-the-spot fines to people caught dropping their gum.’
      • ‘Blowing a large, pink bubble with my gum, I watched it pop and let out inane laughter.’
    3. 1.3A gum tree, especially a eucalyptus.
      See also sweet gum
      • ‘A little further downstream were towering red gums and grey gums.’
      • ‘Bottlebrushes, gums and lillypillies, too numerous to mention here, also include splendid specimens of towering proportions in their genera.’
      • ‘Associated species were pignut and mockernut, hickories, black gum, red maple, sassafras, sourwood, and white ash.’
      • ‘In addition you can expect to see rare species of hornbeam, Douglas fir and black gum, and a well-forested block of South Colorado Street.’
      • ‘The Australian ‘Nilagiris’ owe their name to a vaporous blue haze exuded by the eucalyptus gum.’
      • ‘For botany lessons, we crossed the road into the botanical gardens, there to examine the leaves of ash, oak, elm, plane, pine but no wattles, gums or banksias.’
      • ‘Thomas established a piece of paradise by planting many native rimu, gums and pines, which now shelter an extraordinary collection of some of the world's rarest and most unusual plants.’
      • ‘In many other trees such as black gum, sassafras, dogwood, and some maples and oaks, the pigment anthocyanin adds red to the palette.’
      • ‘Lowland riverine forests gradually become pockets of temperate rainforest, sprinkled with mountain ash and grey gums.’
      • ‘It is sheltered effectively by blue gums and golden wattle broken by a palm tree and a peppercorn and it overlooks an olive grove, which yields a steady supply of virgin oil.’
      • ‘One only has to look at some coral trees in small gardens, wild figs and blue gums that have got out of hand.’
      • ‘Atholl and Wierda Valley still boast some of the gums and pines that she planted in those suburbs.’
      • ‘Here, unusual and ancient giant ferns are frequent, as are scribbly gums and eucalypts, while in places kauri and satinay pines reach high for the sky.’
      • ‘Spotted gum, a type of eucalyptus, runs throughout the house.’
  • 2North American dated A long rubber boot.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Cover with gum or glue.

    ‘gummed paper’
    • ‘Use a drop of needle lubricant to prevent the adhesive backing from gumming up the needle as you stitch.’
    • ‘The curling iron was carefully slid away and the eye of the curl was glued in place with a gummed needle.’
    • ‘If you use an electric sander, keep the tool moving on the surface to prevent friction from melting the finish and gumming up the paper.’
    • ‘Keep the sander moving constantly to prevent heat caused by friction from softening the paint and gumming up the paper.’
    • ‘Drawing and painting materials - as well as crayons and felt-tip pens, try colouring pencils, poster paints, coloured paper, sparkly card, glitter glue, gummed shapes, pom-poms and sequins.’
    • ‘Obviously printing books in several languages proved to be very expensive - so we have instead provided all the words for book on gummed paper in 9 languages.’
    • ‘Handy too, because it seems to get gummed up with hair and dog fur and carpet fluff occasionally.’
    • ‘So anyway, the application form is still sitting in my bag, tantalisingly close to being gummed up and sent away.’
    • ‘If an artwork does require new hinges, both Linde and Derow recommend using traditional Japanese rice paper hinges attached with wheat starch paste rather than gummed linen tapes or pre-glued papers.’
    • ‘A major mystery of natural silk manufacture is how spiders and silkworms convert watery solutions into threads without gumming themselves up.’
    1. 1.1Fasten with gum or glue.
      ‘I was gumming small green leaves to a paper tree’
      • ‘Stamps are slammed on the title page, label pockets gummed to the rear pastedown, dust wrappers discarded, covers vulcanised in plastic - or, in those days, a toffee-brown buckram tough enough to withstand acid.’
      • ‘To start I went for an enormous rack of ribs, which would easily have made a main course in its own right, slow-cooked so the fat had rendered down to produce that lovely stickiness which gums your teeth together.’
    2. 1.2Clog up a mechanism and prevent it from working properly.
      ‘open and close the valves to make sure they don't get gummed up’
      figurative ‘there was no winner and they debated the factors that could have gummed up the works’
      • ‘Hull Road, Haxby Road, Heworth Green are gummed up by roadworks.’
      • ‘What you can do is find some other system that's naturally slowing it down, and try to gum that pathway up instead, freeing the enzyme of interest to do its thing.’
      • ‘What if more accountability actually slowed it down, gummed it up.’
      • ‘If you drink proper loose tea, you get countless black leaves gumming up your sink/bin/teeth.’
      • ‘Rather than just binding to ribosomes and gumming them up, ricin is actually an enzyme all by itself.’
      • ‘With two planets gumming up the works, you're feeling a little bummed out.’
      • ‘All the work's possible dreams are gummed up to create a world that is glacial, hyperrealistic, and devoid of poetry.’
      • ‘When I asked, I was told all the leaves are gumming up the undercarriage of trains and it can take up to a week to clean them.’
      • ‘On one hand, it can gum the market up, keeping it flat and discouraging people from trading completely.’
      • ‘They are gumming up the works and sticking their noses in where they shouldn't.’
      • ‘Ordinarily, this cash liquidity premium is too small to gum up the works.’
      • ‘The impact would be nearly imperceptible at first, but it'd be there, and significant enough to gum things up.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French gomme, based on Latin gummi, from Greek kommi, from Egyptian kemai.

Main definitions of gum in English

: gum1gum2gum3

gum2

noun

  • The firm area of flesh around the roots of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw.

    ‘a tooth broken off just above the gum’
    [as modifier] ‘gum disease’
    • ‘One of the largest-ever studies following the teeth and gums of healthy adults has just been reported from Brisbane.’
    • ‘In one recent study, men with extensive gum disease had a four times greater risk for heart trouble and stroke than men with healthy teeth and gums.’
    • ‘Eventually it was determined that there was eggshell lodged in the gum behind one of my front teeth.’
    • ‘It is often necessary to make a small cut in the gum over the wisdom tooth, and to remove some bone so that the tooth can be lifted out.’
    • ‘Periodontitis is a chronic infectious disease of the gums and underlying bony tissues.’
    • ‘It ensures that the adult teeth have a healthy mouth to grow into, so they are not immediately attacked by infections from other teeth and diseased gums.’
    • ‘Call the doctor or dentist if you have questions or concerns about your child's teeth, gums, or dental health.’
    • ‘Go to the dentist before you get pregnant to be sure your teeth and gums are healthy.’
    • ‘Chemotherapy may cause sores in the mouth, gums, and throat or cause gum tissues to become irritated and bleed.’
    • ‘It can lead to vision problems, kidney problems, and problems with the gums and teeth.’
    • ‘More obviously vampiric forms of the illness present themselves as an intolerance to light, wherein the skin cracks and bleeds, the gums and upper lip recede, and there is redness of the eyes, teeth, and skin.’
    • ‘It can also help to look after the long-term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth.’
    • ‘Be sure to keep you gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy.’
    • ‘When healthy, the gum forms a tight collar around and between each tooth.’
    • ‘Eating a balanced diet and healthy snacks is good for your child's teeth and gums.’
    • ‘In these cases, your dentist may need to make a few small cuts in your gum to reach the roots of the tooth.’
    • ‘Smokeless tobacco stains and wears down your teeth, causes your gums to recede (peel back) and produces mouth sores.’
    • ‘Cosmetic treatments tend to look better and last longer if you have healthy teeth and gums.’
    • ‘When gingivitis is neglected, it will eventually progress to periodontal disease, where the gums recede and the teeth loosen and eventually fall out.’
    • ‘Oral cancer encompasses cancers of the mouth, throat, cheek, gums, lips and tongue.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Chew with toothless gums.

    ‘some grandmother gumming a meal’
    • ‘They look simultaneously vicious and goofy - they've got pathetic little teeth and couldn't even gum you to death.’
    • ‘You gummed the pieces with sheer delight, making mmmm, mmmm noises and waving your hands like some beauty pageant winner on a float being pulled down Main Street.’
    • ‘Like everything else lately, the strap went straight into his mouth, and soon the child was happily gumming away on it, tears forgotten as the chew toy did its work.’
    • ‘Nearly every time I've been to Sakura I've seen a table or two with a little blond-headed child munching on a chicken skewer or gumming a tempura shrimp.’
    • ‘My 10-month-old son is still more interested in gumming the keyboard than in exploring educational possibilities on the Web, but I look forward to the day when I can help him connect with his world by connecting to the Internet.’
    • ‘Back when I was sans teeth, I used to gum the enormous bagels my parents bought me from the old man in Soulard's market in St. Louis.’
    • ‘A veteran who has started games and isn't yet gumming his food, Matthews can hold down the fort as a fill-in.’
    • ‘Taking his time to gum the cuisine, his face projected an expression of disgust.’
    • ‘They made the leathery meal soft enough to swallow by alternately sucking on and gumming it.’
    • ‘Most kids are too overweight to catch you and if they do, can only gum you to death.’
    • ‘He opened the first tin without ceremony and quickly began gumming the weenies with glee.’
    • ‘And I could only stare, my mouth hung open dumbly like a cow gumming its cud.’

Origin

Old English gōma inside of the mouth or throat of Germanic origin; related to German Gaumen roof of the mouth.

Main definitions of gum in English

: gum1gum2gum3

gum3

noun

  • An exclamation used for emphasis.

    • ‘When someone promises ‘the greatest adventure of all time,’ they'd by gum better deliver.’
    • ‘Stick the same thing outside a café and they will use it, because now its purpose is clear (and they've paid for their coffee so by gum they're going to get their money's worth and bloody well sit there and to hell with the traffic fumes!).’
    • ‘Not sure what the content was, but by gum the subject line rocked out.’
    • ‘Eventually I realized that if I want people to have good manners in my house, then, by gum, I'm going to make them have good manners in my house.’
    • ‘I guess I just finished a two-week stint at Overlake Hospital, and by gum, it was boring as hell.’
    • ‘Baby, we have that power, and eeh by gum we plan to use it.’
    • ‘Those delicious shivers of anticipation you feel coursing up and down your spine have nothing to do with Valentines Day; it's your body telling you that the Junos are coming up, and by gum you better get ready!’
    • ‘Friday came, by gum, and my parents had dropped me off at the entrance to the school in complete shock.’
    • ‘But by gum, he was going to shout at them a lot and ladle on the tough love to get them there.’
    • ‘‘This is what we wanted to do and by gum, we were going to do it,’ says Spring.’
    • ‘One last van load, we said, which turned into two, and by gum we were tired by the end of it.’
    • ‘Apparently the fame went right to this fella's noggin, by gum, as his hollerin' and harp-playin' have now become a permanent fixture at Barfly's bluegrass nights as well.’
    • ‘But by gum, I just can't bear the notion of some Joe Lunchpail and his slovenly wife trundling clumsily through my private slaughterhouse, or trying on my world-renowned collection of 16th century undergarments.’
    • ‘Cutting back on emissions (by agreeing to the Kyoto Protocols), the report contended, would put a damper on the economic wealth that will save us from hurricanes that might take lots of lives in poorer countries but not here, by gum.’
    • ‘If he says that it requires a constitutional amendment to rectify this grievous error, then, by gum, I am all for it.’
    • ‘I made a point of doing my weekend ride at 8am on Sunday, getting home at 11 (nice rolling 36 miles through the countryside), and by gum it was starting to heat up by then.’
    • ‘They really will have to start writing efficient software, by gum.’
    • ‘And by gum we loved every minute of it, even though the sores stayed open for years.’
    • ‘Hard enough when in sober mind, this was not something we were capable of attempting half-cut, although by gum we certainly tried.’
    • ‘The paramount principle has been that the United Nations' word must be taken seriously, and if we've had to subvert its word to guarantee that it is, then, by gum, so be it.’

Origin

Early 19th century: euphemistic alteration of God.

Main definitions of gum in English

: gum1gum2gum3

GUM

  • Genitourinary medicine.