la·​tex | \ ˈlā-ˌteks How to pronounce latex (audio) \
plural latices\ ˈlā-​tə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce latices (audio) , ˈla-​ \ or latexes

Definition of latex

1 : a milky usually white fluid that is produced by cells of various seed plants (as of the milkweed, spurge, and poppy families) and is the source of rubber, gutta-percha, chicle, and balata
2 : a water emulsion of a synthetic rubber or plastic obtained by polymerization and used especially in coatings (such as paint) and adhesives

Examples of latex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Wearing latex gloves, Ferguson allegedly held her hands over the baby’s face for three minutes, the court documents state, The News Journal reports. Kc Baker,, "Del. Child Care Worker Allegedly Smothered 4-Month-Old Baby Girl Who Wouldn’t Stop Crying," 9 Sep. 2019 In the center of the room, a team of artists in aprons are painting, dropping, smearing, and scraping thick latex paint onto canvasses in what looks like the art world version of an assembly line. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This New Company Wants to be the Ikea of Art," 5 Sep. 2019 Noone covers boxes and frames with latex paint, only to strip it partly off and re-layer in a different color. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: If creative ceramics are your cup of tea, go to the Renwick Gallery," 3 Sep. 2019 Marjorie put on purple latex gloves and grabbed a plastic bag, opened the door and turned away wincing. Andy Newman, New York Times, "On the Job, 24 Hours a Day, 27 Days a Month," 2 Sep. 2019 Wearing purple latex gloves, safety glasses, and a white lab coat, 17-year-old Angel Muthemba dispensed a pipette filled with DNA into the ridge of a measuring device. Alison Kuznitz,, "Science in their DNA: Internship at Harvard affiliate inspires high school students," 21 Aug. 2019 As the light turned red, Gassaway put on a pair of the blue latex gloves Smith recently persuaded him to wear and grabbed two handfuls of bottles before heading into the rows of cars. Washington Post, "At Dave Thomas Circle, fixing a traffic nightmare threatens a D.C. vending empire," 14 Aug. 2019 Among these objects are a latex glove, teeth, and dentures. Maggie O'neill,, "This Man's Dentures Were Stuck in His Voice Box for 8 Days After a Routine Procedure," 13 Aug. 2019 Deputies in black latex gloves cut open one of the larger cushions, apparently in search of drugs, but appeared to find nothing of value or interest inside. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Suspected smuggling boat capsizes off Imperial Beach," 6 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'latex.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of latex

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for latex

New Latin latic-, latex, from Latin, fluid

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Statistics for latex

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for latex

The first known use of latex was in 1832

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English Language Learners Definition of latex

: a white fluid produced by certain plants that is used for making rubber also : a similar material that is used for making various products (such as paint and glue)


la·​tex | \ ˈlā-ˌteks How to pronounce latex (audio) \

Kids Definition of latex

1 : a milky plant juice that is the source of rubber
2 : a mixture of water and tiny particles of rubber or plastic used especially in paints


la·​tex | \ ˈlā-ˌteks How to pronounce latex (audio) \
plural latices\ ˈlāt-​ə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce latices (audio) , ˈlat-​ How to pronounce latices (audio) \ or latexes

Medical Definition of latex

: a milky usually white fluid that is usually made up of various gum resins, fats, or waxes and often a complex mixture of other substances frequently including poisonous compounds, is produced by cells of various seed plants (as of the milkweed, spurge, and poppy families), and is the source of rubber, gutta-percha, chicle, and balata

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More from Merriam-Webster on latex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with latex

Spanish Central: Translation of latex

Nglish: Translation of latex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of latex for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about latex

Comments on latex

What made you want to look up latex? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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