from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The coagulated milky juice of the sapodilla, used as the principal ingredient of chewing gum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The milky latex of the sapodilla tree, used after coagulation as the principal ingredient of chewing gum

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A gumlike substance obtained from the bully tree (Mimusops globosa) and sometimes also from the naseberry or sapodilla (Sapota zapotilla). It is more plastic than caoutchouc and more elastic than gutta-percha, as an adulterant of which it is used in England. It is used largely in the United States in making chewing gum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as chicle-gum.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. gum-like substance from the sapodilla


Spanish, from Nahuatl chictli.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish chicle, from Classical Nahuatl tzictli. (Wiktionary)


  • San Ignacio, in western Belize, was an important center for the Baymen (British loggers) and chicleros (collectors of chicle, which is used to make chewing gum), who also relied on the river to transport their goods.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Many Americans didn't realize at the time, I think, that Guatemala was the world's principal source of high-quality chicle, which is one of the ingredients in chewing gum.

    Muddy Boots and Red Socks

  • The sap is called chicle, and the men who climb the trees to collect the sap are called chicleros.

    Cool Hunting

  • A bright white sap called chicle runs down the wound in the wood, prompting a smile.

    Rainforest Portal RSS Newsfeed

  • According to Lehnhoff Temme (1990), local people use forests species such as chicle Marilkara achrag, pepper Pimenta dioica, cedar, mahogany Swietenia humilis and 'ramon' Brosimum alicastrum and the use of leaves and flowers from Chamaedorea and Araceae spp. are used for ornamental purposes.

    Tikal National Park, Guatemala

  • "Traditionally, the youth here work basically as farmhands, dealing with the extraction of things like chewing gum (" chicle ") and the xate plant from our land," said WCS technician Julio Zetina, who helps implement the agreement.

    Conservation International - Feature Articles

  • The Spaniards discovered all this the hard way when they first encountered the Aztec macahuitl, a flat wooden sword tipped with obsidian blades held in place by chicle.

    Obsidian in Mexico: gift of the gods

  • Mexicans, including Santa Ana, worried about their teeth, which they kept clean by chewing chicle, a rubbery plant sap.

    Gods, Gachupines and Gringos: A People's History of Mexico by Richard Grabman

  • The candy maker thought the ex-general's chicle tasted awful but wasn't bad if it was mixed with mint and dipped in sugar.

    Gods, Gachupines and Gringos: A People's History of Mexico by Richard Grabman

  • To teach your kids the value of rainforest products, stuff their stockings with Glee Gum's make-your-own-chewing-gum kit, an irresistible mess of sugar, syrup, flavoring, and chicle gum base from Central America's sapodilla trees.

    Green Gifts That Keep Giving


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.