gum arabic


: a water-soluble gum obtained from several acacias (especially Acacia senegal) and used especially in the manufacture of inks, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, and confections

Examples of gum arabic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Another popular theory has to do with the varnish: namely, that Stradivari used an ingenious cocktail of honey, egg whites, and gum arabic from sub-Saharan trees—or perhaps salts or other chemicals. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2022 Gum syrup is a simple syrup combined with gum arabic, a powder derived from the Acacia tree which gives a silky body to cocktails. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 8 Apr. 2021 After the mid-1800s, marshmallow manufactures replaced the sap ingredient with corn syrup or sugar, gelatin, gum arabic and other flavorings. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 7 Apr. 2021 The recipe’s key ingredient is gum Arabic, a thickening agent that somehow takes the rough edges off Peruvian brandy. Gary Kamiya,, 27 Dec. 2019 The country is also the world’s biggest exporter of gum arabic, a sap that’s extracted from acacia trees and used in sodas and pharmaceuticals. Washington Post, 8 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gum arabic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gum arabic was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gum arabic

Cite this Entry

“Gum arabic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

gum arabic

: a gum that can be dissolved in water, is obtained from several acacias, and is used especially in making adhesives, drugs, and candy

Medical Definition

gum arabic

gum ar·​a·​bic -ˈar-ə-bik How to pronounce gum arabic (audio)
: a water-soluble gum obtained from several leguminous plants of the genus Acacia (especially A. senegal and A. arabica) and used especially in pharmacy to suspend insoluble substances in water, to prepare emulsions, and to make pills and lozenges

called also acacia, gum acacia

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