la·​tex | \ ˈlā-ˌteks \
plural latices\ ˈlā-​tə-​ˌsēz , 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

In that painting and most of the others, Carey-Realmo uses latex paint that has an assertive and borderline-chunky appearance. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Artist gets metaphysical at Columbia Art Center," 6 July 2018 One woman wore glossy black latex gloves and had fingernails like stilettos. Sophie Ouellette-howitz, SELF, "This Is Why You Should Pay for Porn," 7 Nov. 2018 Numerous media reports have highlighted horror stories of unwanted pregnancies after users were seduced by the idea of a hormone and latex-free contraceptive. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“Natural” birth-control app dogged by unwanted pregnancies gets FDA approval," 15 Aug. 2018 And yet, Kylie Jenner stepped out on a yacht, in a high neck, latex onesie. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Wore a Spandex Onesie on a Yacht in Miami and I'm Sweating For Her," 2 Oct. 2018 And environmentally conscious parents appreciate their biodegradable latex balloons. Maggie Winterfeldt Clark, San Francisco Chronicle, "Girl or boy?: Creative ‘gender reveal’ parties catch on with parents," 16 May 2018 The latex sealed up, and the bike was ready to ride the next day. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "How bicycles have changed in the last 25 years," 10 Nov. 2018 The latex on its own wasn’t rubbery at all, says Michael Tarkanian, a senior lecturer in materials science and engineering at MIT who has researched the early technology. Susannah Gardiner, Smithsonian, "How Native Civilizations Innovated to Conquer the Wilderness," 2 June 2018 When pruning, avoid getting the milky-looking latex on your skin and keep it out of your eyes! Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "This tree has huge leaves and clusters of coral flowers and likes Miami’s weather | Miami Herald," 6 Apr. 2018

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

31 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for latex

The first known use of latex was in 1832

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More Definitions for latex



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 \

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 \
plural latices\ ˈlāt-​ə-​ˌsēz , ˈlat-​ \ 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

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