American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several trees having milky juice used to make varnish.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any one of several trees of which the sap or some secretion serves as a lacquer or varnish. The most important of these is the Japan varnish- or lacquer-tree (see
lacquertree): also of high importance is the black, Burmese, or Martaban varnish-tree, Melanorrhœa usitata, the theetsee of the Burmese, a tree of 50 or 60 feet, yielding on incision a sap of an extremely blistering property which forms a lacquer of very extensive local use (see black varnish, under varnish). Iu India the marking-nut, or Sylhet varnish-tree, Semecarpus Anacardium, with one or two allied species, yields in its fruit an excellent black varnish, as does Holigarna longifolia in its bark. These all belong to the A nacardiaceæ. See Hymenæaand Aleurites.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) a tree or shrub from the juice or resin of which varnish is made, as some species of the genus Rhus, especially Rhus vernicifera of Japan. The black varnish of Burmah is obtained from the Melanorrhœa usitatissima, a tall East Indian tree of the Cashew family. See Copal, and Mastic.
- n. small Asiatic tree yielding a toxic exudate from which lacquer is obtained
- n. large tree native to southeastern Asia; the nuts yield oil used in varnishes; nut kernels strung together are used locally as candles
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