Definition of mastic in English:



  • 1An aromatic gum or resin exuded from the bark of a Mediterranean tree, used in making varnish and chewing gum and as a flavoring.

    • ‘Look for Greek or Turkish mastic, which usually comes from pine trees, in Middle Eastern or wholefood stores.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When the stems of the bushes are wounded, even slightly, mastic exudes as a clear sticky substance.’
    • ‘Bombay mastic comes from P. cabulica, the terebinth pistachio tree.’
  • 2The bushy evergreen Mediterranean tree of the cashew family that yields mastic and has aromatic leaves and fruit, closely related to the pistachio.

    • ‘Mastic gum is a resinous exudate obtained from the stem and leaves of the mastic tree, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean Basin.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3A puttylike waterproof filler and sealant used in building.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you are using mastic cement as an adhesive, fill the joints with thin-set adhesive to avoid water damage.’
    • ‘Once again it has been paralysed after vandals blocked coin slots with brown mastic.’
    • ‘I would have done a load more but for the fact that I couldn't find the mastic gun holder.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It dates back to Cork in 1913 when the company made and laid mastic asphalt.’
    • ‘Top tip: fill gaps between primed woodwork and walls with a mastic gun.’
    • ‘If the gap in the duct connection is larger than 1/4 inch use fiberglass reinforcing membrane in addition to mastic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He noticed that in various places round the property, a mastic compound had been used to secure the edges of tiles to adjacent tiles.’
    • ‘You can also use silicone or mastic sealants to draught-proof doors and window frames and stop water leaking into wood, causing rot.’
    • ‘On 23 August, 1994, they did some cleaning and also laid some roofing mastic.’
    • ‘These indicate air leaks, and they should be sealed with a duct mastic.’
    • ‘Special mastics are used to adhere the vinyl to the metal and these can last for several years.’
    • ‘This product is designed to be used with mastics.’
    • ‘If deterioration is extensive, the mastic seal may need to be replaced.’
    • ‘Various mastics or non-cloth-backed tapes are preferable.’
    • ‘Use mirror mastic, a strong waterproof adhesive that's available at large hardware stores and glass shops, to mount the mirror to the plywood.’
    • ‘The glass threads are then pressed into the mastic vertically one by one.’


Late Middle English: via Old French and Latin from Greek mastikhē (perhaps from mastikhan masticate).