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

  • n. Any of various thorny shrubs of the genus Astragalus, especially A. gummifer, of the Middle East, yielding a gum used in pharmacy, adhesives, and textile printing.
  • n. The gum of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a polysaccharide gum, extracted from several species of leguminous plants of the genus Astragalus, used as a food additive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of gum procured from a spiny leguminous shrub (Astragalus gummifer) of Western Asia, and other species of Astragalus. It comes in hard whitish or yellowish flakes or filaments, and is nearly insoluble in water, but slowly swells into a mucilaginous mass, which is used as a substitute for gum arabic in medicine and the arts. Called also gum tragacanth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mucilaginous substance, the product of several low, spiny shrubs of the genus Astragalus, among them A. gummifer. A. eriostylus, A. adscendens, A. brachycalyx, and A. microcephalus, plants found in the mountains of Asia Minor and neighboring lands.

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

  • n. a gum used in pharmacy, adhesives, and textile printing


Latin tragacantha, from Greek tragakantha : tragos, goat + akantha, thorn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • And the colors: I was certain that Martha Stewart, who had recently featured Necco wafers on a wedding cake (historically apt; the pièces montées that made Marie-Antoine Carême perhaps the first star chef, in the early 19th century, were made of gum tragacanth, the base of Necco wafers and still the base of many wedding-cake decorations), would be designing a line of paints around them.

    Sugar and Spice

  • We know about chypre scents being made on the island as early as the 12thOyselets de Chypre Chypre Birds were formed from a paste of labdanum, styrax and calamus, mixed with tragacanth.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • It and gum tragacanth are slightly soluble and eventually dissolve when chewed; they were used in early medicine as carriers that would release drugs slowly.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • Gum tragacanth, a carbohydrate from a West Asian shrub in the bean family Astragalus, has been used

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • • Gum tragacanth, an exudate from various species of Astralagus shrubs

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • When boiling water is poured over shavings of this wood a clear jelly, resembling tragacanth, is formed and becomes a thick viscid mass; iodine stains it brown, but not a trace of starch is indicated in it.

    Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia

  • Above, workers make flowers from pastillage, or gum paste dough, a mixture of sugar and gum tragacanth.

    Savoring The Past

  • In the seventeenth century a variety of methods of construction were current for many kinds of food—for example, a marinade of chickens with lemon slices and fried parsley was piled up en pyramide, and so was whipped cream stiffened with gum tragacanth, but fruit was used most often.

    Savoring The Past

  • Put the gum tragacanth and the rosewater in the bowl of an electric mixer or a marble mortar and stir them together.

    Savoring The Past

  • These included glue, gelatine, mucilage (tragacanth), starch and dextrin, which are all applied in similar ways: for gelatine, the work is dipped in a hot solution containing 30 - 40 9 of gelatine for each litre then dried at moderate temperatures.

    Chapter 7


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  • You have to admit gummifer's a pretty good word to just slip into a definition.

    January 17, 2013

  • "Composed of Paste and glued with Tragacanth, the Theme of this Device was an heroic Feat known as 'Callock's Leap'."
    John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk, p 391

    November 10, 2012