Meaning of GUM in English


I. ˈgəm, dial ˈgüm noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English gome, from Old English gōma palate; akin to Old High German guomo palate, Old Norse gōmr gum, Greek chaunos loose, porous, chaos abyss

: the tissue that surrounds the necks of teeth and covers the alveolar parts of the jaws : the portion of it in either jaw attached to a single tooth

a gum canker on the upper jaw

broadly : the alveolar portion of a jaw with its enveloping soft tissues — usually used in plural

a year later he could chew practically anything with his gums

— see tooth illustration

II. verb

( gummed ; gummed ; gumming ; gums )

transitive verb

1. : to enlarge or deepen the spaces between the teeth of (a worn saw) — often used with out

if you gum out that saw it will probably go another year

2. chiefly dialect : to chew (as food) with the gums

can't find his store teeth half the time so he gums his food

gummed off a fresh portion of the fragment of plug tobacco — Noel Barker

intransitive verb

dialect : to chew food or any other substance with the gums instead of teeth

been gumming since he had his teeth drawn last month

III. ˈgəm noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English gomme, gumme, from Old French gomme, from Latin gummi, cummi, from Greek kommi, from Egyptian qmy.t


a. : any of numerous colloidal polysaccharide substances that are gelatinous when moist but harden on drying, that are exuded by plants or extracted from them by solvents and either soluble in or swelling up with water, and that are salts of complex organic acids yielding hexuronic acids and aldoses on hydrolysis — compare mucilage 1

b. : any of various plants exudates (as a mucilage, oleoresin, or gum resin)

2. : a natural gum prepared for industrial or other use (as in pharmacy or cloth finishing or for adhesives or emollients)

3. : a substance in some respect resembling a natural plant gum: as

a. : a dextrin adhesive

b. : a gummy coating chiefly of sericin on the outside of a raw silk fiber

c. : thickened secretion (as at the corner of the eyes)

d. : a tarry deposit (as in a cylinder, bearing, or storage tank) left by an unsaturated hydrocarbon fuel (as gasoline) or lubricant

e. : a rubber composition containing only the ingredients essential for vulcanization — called also high gum, pure gum

4. also gum tree

a. : any of several trees that yield gums: as

(1) : black gum

(2) : sweet gum

(3) : any of several West Indian laticiferous trees (as Metopium toxiferum and Sapium laurifolium

(4) : sapodilla

b. Australia : a tree of the genus Eucalyptus ; especially : any of various smooth-barked eucalyptus trees — compare : box I 2a


a. also gumwood ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ : the wood or lumber of any gum ; especially : that of the sweet gum

b. chiefly Midland : a vessel or container made of a hollow log — compare bee gum

6. : a rubber boot or overshoe

7. : chewing gum

- in the gum

IV. verb

( gummed ; gummed ; gumming ; gums )

Etymology: Middle English gommen, gummen, from gomme, gumme, n.

transitive verb

1. : to smear or treat with gum : close or seal with gum : unite or stiffen by gum or a gummy substance

2. : to impede or clog with or as if with gum — often used with up

gummed up the whole program

the motor is all gummed up


[probably from gum (III) (tree); probably from the observation that opossums and raccoons often hide in a sweet-gum tree when hunted]

: humbug , trick , cheat

4. : to fill the spaces between the cutting particles of (as a file or an abrasive wheel) with the material being cut

intransitive verb


a. : to exude or form gum

b. : to become gummy (as by softening or thickening)

some oils gum readily

2. : to have the spaces between the cutting particles filled with the material being cut — used of an abrasive

V. interjection

Usage: often capitalized

Etymology: alteration of God

— used as a mild oath

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.