from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The mastic tree.
  • n. The aromatic resin of the mastic tree, used especially in varnishes, lacquers, adhesives, and condiments and as an astringent.
  • n. A pastelike cement used in highway construction, especially one made with powdered lime or brick and tar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An evergreen shrub or small tree, Pistacia lentiscus, native to the Mediterranean.
  • n. A hard, brittle, aromatic and transparent resin produced by this tree and used to make varnishes and chewing gum, and as a flavouring.
  • n. A flexible, waterproof cement used as an adhesive, sealant or filler.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A low shrubby tree of the genus Pistacia (Pistacia Lentiscus), growing upon the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean, and producing a valuable resin; -- called also, mastic tree.
  • n. A resin exuding from the mastic tree, and obtained by incision. The best is in yellowish white, semitransparent tears, of a faint smell, and is used as an astringent and an aromatic, also as an ingredient in varnishes.
  • n. A kind of cement composed of burnt clay, litharge, and linseed oil, used for plastering walls, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A resinous substance obtained from the common mastic-tree, Pistacia Lentiscus, a small tree about 12 feet high, native in the countries around the Mediterranean.
  • n. A similar resin yielded by some other plant.
  • n. A mastic-tree.
  • n. A distilled liquor, most commonly obtained from grapes or grape-skins after the wine is pressed, flavored with the gum mastic and sometimes with anise or fennel, becoming opaline when mixed with water, much drunk in Turkey, Greece, and the islands. The best is made in Chios.—5. A kind of mortar or cement used for plastering walls.
  • Adhesive, as or with gum or mastic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an aromatic exudate from the mastic tree; used chiefly in varnishes
  • n. an evergreen shrub of the Mediterranean region that is cultivated for its resin
  • n. a pasty cement used as an adhesive or filler


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, mastic resin, from Old French mastich, from Latin mastichum, mastichē, from Greek mastikhē, chewing gum, mastic, from mastikhān, to grind the teeth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin mastiche, from Ancient Greek μαστίχη (mastikhē), from μαστιχάω (mastikhaō, "I chew") (note the chewing gum sense).



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  • "Mastic, for example, an aromatic resin, is produced by a species of acacia that grows only on the Aegean island of Chios."

    Paul Freedman, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 10.

    October 9, 2017

  • Usage note in comment on cursus publicus.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The hot black mastic sucking at their shoes and stretching in thin bands as they stepped."

    The Road

    by Cormac McCarthy

    ISBN 0307265439

    page 41

    February 19, 2007