balata

balata

[buh-lah-tuh, bal-uh-tuh]
noun
1.
a nonelastic, rubberlike, water-resistant gum that softens in hot water and is obtained from the latex of a tropical American tree, Manilkara bidentata: used chiefly in the manufacture of machinery belts, golf ball covers, and as a substitute for gutta percha. Compare bully tree.
2.
a tree, Mimusops balata, of Madagascar.

Origin:
1855–60; < American Spanish < Carib

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World English Dictionary
balata (ˈbælətə)
 
n
1.  a tropical American sapotaceous tree, Manilkara bidentata, yielding a latex-like sap
2.  a rubber-like gum obtained from this sap: used as a substitute for gutta-percha
 
[from American Spanish, of Carib origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

balata

hard rubberlike material made by drying the milky juice produced principally by the bully tree (species Manilkara bidentata) of Guyana and the West Indies. The tree is tapped by cutting zigzag gashes in the bark and collecting the latex in cups, to be coagulated in trays. Like gutta-percha, balata is inelastic, tough, leathery, and water-resistant, and it softens when heated. It is often used as a substitute for the more expensive gutta-percha, chiefly in the manufacture of golf balls and machine belting.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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