gum

noun (1)
\ ˈgəm How to pronounce gum (audio) \

Definition of gum

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: the tissue that surrounds the necks of teeth and covers the alveolar parts of the jaws broadly : the alveolar portion of a jaw with its enveloping soft tissues

gum

verb (1)
gummed; gumming

Definition of gum (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to enlarge gullets of (a saw)
2 : to chew with the gums

gum

noun (2)

Definition of gum (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : any of numerous colloidal polysaccharide substances of plant origin that are gelatinous when moist but harden on drying and are salts of complex organic acids — compare mucilage sense 1
b : any of various plant exudates (such as an oleoresin or gum resin)
2 : a substance or deposit resembling a plant gum (as in sticky or adhesive quality)
3a : a tree (such as a black gum) that yields gum
b Australia : eucalyptus
4 : the wood or lumber of a gum especially : that of the sweet gum

gum

verb (2)
gummed; gumming

Definition of gum (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to clog, impede, or damage with or as if with gum gum up the works

intransitive verb

1 : to exude or form gum
2 : to become gummy

Other Words from gum

Verb (2)

gummer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for gum

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Antonyms: Verb (2)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

First Known Use of gum

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1597, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for gum

Noun (1)

Middle English gome, from Old English gōma palate; akin to Old High German guomo palate, and perhaps to Greek chaos abyss

Noun (2)

Middle English gomme, from Middle French, from Latin cummi, gummi, from Greek kommi, from Egyptian qmyt

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best electric toothbrush for seniors.

Learn More About gum

Time Traveler for gum

Time Traveler

The first known use of gum was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near gum

guly

gum

gum accroides

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gum

Cite this Entry

“Gum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gum. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for gum

gum

noun
\ ˈgəm How to pronounce gum (audio) \

Kids Definition of gum

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the flesh at the roots of the teeth

gum

noun

Kids Definition of gum (Entry 2 of 3)

2 : a sticky substance obtained from plants that hardens on drying
3 : a substance like a plant gum (as in stickiness)

gum

verb
gummed; gumming

Kids Definition of gum (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to smear, stick together, or clog with or as if with gum
2 : to cause not to work properly gum up the works

gum

noun
\ ˈgəm How to pronounce gum (audio) \

Medical Definition of gum

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the tissue that surrounds the necks of teeth and covers the alveolar parts of the jaws broadly : the alveolar portion of a jaw with its enveloping soft tissues

gum

transitive verb
gummed; gumming

Medical Definition of gum (Entry 2 of 3)

: to chew with the gums

gum

noun

Medical Definition of gum (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : any of numerous colloidal polysaccharide substances of plant origin that are gelatinous when moist but harden on drying and are salts of complex organic acids — compare mucilage
2 : any of various plant exudates (as a mucilage, oleoresin, or gum resin)

More from Merriam-Webster on gum

Nglish: Translation of gum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gum

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!