Definitions

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

  • n. See rubber1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. latex; natural rubber

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tenacious, elastic, gummy substance obtained from the milky sap of several plants of tropical South America (esp. the euphorbiaceous tree Siphonia elastica or Hevea caoutchouc), Asia, and Africa. Being impermeable to liquids and gases, and not readly affected by exposure to air, acids, and alkalies, it is used, especially when vulcanized, for many purposes in the arts and in manufactures. Also called India rubber (because it was first brought from India, and was formerly used chiefly for erasing pencil marks) and gum elastic. See vulcanization.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An elastic gummy substance, the inspissated milky juice of various tropical trees belonging to the natural orders Apocynaceæ, Urticaceæ, and Euphorbiaceæ; india-rubber (which see).
  • n. Products more or less resembling caoutchouc are obtained by the application of the vulcanizing process to colza and other oils, and are employed to mix with or partly replace real india-rubber. A substance which seems to be identical with natural caoutchouc has been obtained in the scientific laboratory by polymerization of isoprene, a hydrocarbon derived from turpentine; but the process has not become commercially practical.

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

  • n. an elastic material obtained from the latex sap of trees (especially trees of the genera Hevea and Ficus) that can be vulcanized and finished into a variety of products

Etymologies

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

French, probably from Spanish caucho, from Tupi cau-ucha.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French caoutchouc, from the South American name.

Examples

Comments

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  • "On a side trip, La Condamine found the caoutchouc tree that produced the resin that Indians used for waterproofing, later called rubber. He also discovered an unusual metal that Indians used for their jewelry, later determined to be platinum...."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 168

    Marginally more info on La Condamine and polyglot.

    December 28, 2016

  • Ça plane pour moi! Ça plane pour moi!

    April 8, 2011

  • Allez hop! un matin

    Une louloute est venue chez-moi

    Poupee de cellophane, cheveux chinois

    un sparadrap, une gueule de bois

    a bu ma biere dans un grand verre en caoutchouc

    Oooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!

    Comme un indien dans son igloo

    May 9, 2009