One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An aromatic gum or resin that exudes from the bark of a Mediterranean tree, used in making varnish and chewing gum and as a flavoring.
- ‘When the stems of the bushes are wounded, even slightly, mastic exudes as a clear sticky substance.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Bombay mastic comes from P. cabulica, the terebinth pistachio tree.’
- ‘Look for Greek or Turkish mastic, which usually comes from pine trees, in Middle Eastern or wholefood stores.’
2The bushy evergreen Mediterranean tree of the cashew family that yields mastic and has aromatic leaves and fruit, closely related to the pistachio.
Pistacia lentiscus, family Anacardiaceae
- ‘In addition, herbs such as corydal, corydalis, mastic, myrrh, and bupleurum offer strong pain-relieving properties.’
- ‘In the desert there will remain some stones, a whole gigantic ruin slowly split and slaked by waters and wind, mastic trees, frost.’
- ‘Mastic gum is a resinous exudate obtained from the stem and leaves of the mastic tree, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean Basin.’
3A waterproof filler and sealant used in building.
- ‘It dates back to Cork in 1913 when the company made and laid mastic asphalt.’
- ‘If deterioration is extensive, the mastic seal may need to be replaced.’
- ‘On 23 August, 1994, they did some cleaning and also laid some roofing mastic.’
- ‘Special mastics are used to adhere the vinyl to the metal and these can last for several years.’
- ‘You can also use silicone or mastic sealants to draught-proof doors and window frames and stop water leaking into wood, causing rot.’
- ‘These indicate air leaks, and they should be sealed with a duct mastic.’
- ‘This product is designed to be used with mastics.’
- ‘Once again it has been paralysed after vandals blocked coin slots with brown mastic.’
- ‘Various mastics or non-cloth-backed tapes are preferable.’
- ‘He noticed that in various places round the property, a mastic compound had been used to secure the edges of tiles to adjacent tiles.’
- ‘If you are using mastic cement as an adhesive, fill the joints with thin-set adhesive to avoid water damage.’
- ‘Top tip: fill gaps between primed woodwork and walls with a mastic gun.’
- ‘The glass threads are then pressed into the mastic vertically one by one.’
- ‘This is verified by the presence of alkali at the surface-to-surface bond of failed systems, which is responsible for the breakdown of the bonding of glues, mastics, epoxies, paints, and mortars.’
- ‘Use mirror mastic, a strong waterproof adhesive that's available at large hardware stores and glass shops, to mount the mirror to the plywood.’
- ‘If the gap in the duct connection is larger than 1/4 inch use fiberglass reinforcing membrane in addition to mastic.’
- ‘Stone mastic asphalt has only been used in Ireland in the last two years and only on one per cent of the roads network.’
- ‘I got the patching up done and put some mastic on some of the door casings.’
- ‘I would have done a load more but for the fact that I couldn't find the mastic gun holder.’
- ‘For a quick-fix repair, the crack can be sealed with a specialist mastic, for example Plumba Gutter by Dow Corning, which is designed to adhere to lead and brick.’
Late Middle English: via Old French and Latin from Greek mastikhē (perhaps from mastikhan ‘masticate’).
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