trag·​a·​canth | \ ˈtra-jə-ˌkan(t)th How to pronounce tragacanth (audio) , ˈtra-gə-, -kən(t)th How to pronounce tragacanth (audio) ; also ˈtra-gə-ˌsan(t)th \

Definition of tragacanth

: a gum obtained from various Asian or eastern European plants (genus Astragalus and especially A. gummifer) of the legume family that swells in water and is used chiefly as an emulsifying, suspending, or thickening agent

Examples of tragacanth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All were molded out of a powdered sugar paste likely made with rose and orange blossom water and tragacanth, a resin from a plant indigenous to the Middle East and Asia: the yields of trade and Western expansion. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021

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

First Known Use of tragacanth

1558, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tragacanth

Middle French tragacanthe, from Latin tragacantha, from Greek tragakantha, from tragos goat + akantha thorn

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The first known use of tragacanth was in 1558

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Cite this Entry

“Tragacanth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for tragacanth


trag·​a·​canth | \ ˈtraj-ə-ˌkan(t)th, ˈtrag-, -kən(t)th; also ˈtrag-ə-ˌsan(t)th \

Medical Definition of tragacanth

: a gum obtained from various Asian or East European leguminous plants (genus Astragalus and especially A. gummifer) that swells in water and is used as an emulsifying, suspending, and thickening agent and as a demulcent

called also gum tragacanth, hog gum


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