gum (n.1)

c. 1300, "resin from dried sap of plants," from Old French gome "(medicinal) gum, resin," from Late Latin gumma, from Latin gummi, from Greek kommi "gum," from Egyptian kemai. As the name of a hardened, sweetened gelatine mixture as a candy, 1827. As a shortened form of chewing gum, first attested 1842 in American English. The gum tree (1670s) was so called for the resin it exudes. Latin gummi also is the source of German Gummi (13c.).

gum (n.2)

"soft tissues of the mouth," Old English goma "palate, side of the mouth" (single or plural), from a Germanic source represented by Old Norse gomi "palate," Old High German goumo; related to Lithuanian gomurys "palate," and perhaps from PIE root *ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open."

gum (v.1)

early 14c., gommen, "treat with (medicinal or aromatic) gums," from gum (n.1). In the transferred or figurative sense of "spoil, ruin" (usually with up), as if by some gummy substance, it is first recorded 1901, probably from the notion of machinery becoming clogged. Related: Gummed; gumming.

gum (v.2)

of infants, toothless adults, etc., "to chew or gnaw (something) with the gums," by 1907, from gum (n.2). Related: Gummed; gumming.

updated on October 14, 2021

Definitions of gum from WordNet
gum (n.)
a preparation (usually made of sweetened chicle) for chewing;
Synonyms: chewing gum
gum (n.)
the tissue (covered by mucous membrane) of the jaws that surrounds the bases of the teeth;
Synonyms: gingiva
gum (n.)
any of various substances (soluble in water) that exude from certain plants; they are gelatinous when moist but harden on drying;
gum (n.)
cement consisting of a sticky substance that is used as an adhesive;
Synonyms: glue / mucilage
gum (n.)
wood or lumber from any of various gum trees especially the sweet gum;
Synonyms: gumwood
gum (n.)
any of various trees of the genera Eucalyptus or Liquidambar or Nyssa that are sources of gum;
Synonyms: gum tree
gum (v.)
cover, fill, fix or smear with or as if with gum;
if you gum the tape it is stronger
gum (v.)
grind with the gums; chew without teeth and with great difficulty;
Synonyms: mumble
gum (v.)
become sticky;
gum (v.)
exude or form gum;
these trees gum in the Spring
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.