Definition of guaiacum in English:

guaiacum

noun

  • 1An evergreen tree of the Caribbean and tropical America, formerly important for its hard, heavy, oily timber but now scarce.

    Also called lignum vitae
    • ‘In the United States the guaiacum is grown for decorative purposes in Florida and California.’
    • ‘There are natural groupings of white and red fern leaf acacias in this Province, along with guaiacums, itínes, locust trees and white sages.’
    • ‘There are natural concentrations of white and red fern leaf acacias in this Province, along with guaiacums, locust trees, itínes and white sages.’
    • ‘But all this is part of the past, and now Villahermosa awakens with the delicate murmur of the river and the fresh aroma of the flowers of the guaiacums.’
    • ‘The Hapsburg Charles V also controlled Spain and, consequently, all shipping to and from Hispaniola, where the guaiacum tree grew.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for guaiac
      • ‘In 1519 the German humanist Ulrich von Hutton wrote a treatise on guaiacum, a new wonder drug from the Americas that was believed to cure syphilis.’
      • ‘And guaiacum is used by herbalists today.’
      • ‘In the early 16 th-century a ‘wonder drug’, guaiacum, from the Americas, was discovered, and thought to cure syphilis.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: modern Latin, via Spanish from Taino guayacan.

Pronunciation

guaiacum

/ˈɡwīəkəm//ˈɡwaɪəkəm/