chewing gum

chewing gum

Sweetened product made from chicle and similar resilient substances that is chewed for its flavour. Tree resins have been chewed as teeth cleaners and breath fresheners since ancient times. The latex (called chicle) of the Central American sapodilla tree was first used to mass-produce chewing gum in the 19th century; its plasticity, insolubility in water, and ability to hold a flavour made it an ideal chewing-gum base. After World War II other gums and synthetic rubbers came to replace chicle.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on chewing gum, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up chewing gum? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More