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[chik-uh l] /ˈtʃɪk əl/
a gumlike substance obtained from the latex of certain tropical American trees, as the sapodilla, used chiefly in the manufacture of chewing gum.
Also called chicle gum.
1860-65, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish < Nahuatl tzictli Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chicle
  • Their resin is used for candles and for adulterating chicle.
  • The sapodilla tree is also the source of chicle used in chewing gum.
  • They also gave us the chicle plant which is used to make chewing gum.
British Dictionary definitions for chicle


a gumlike substance obtained from the sapodilla; the main ingredient of chewing gum Also called chicle gum
Word Origin
from Spanish, from Nahuatl chictli
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chicle

1889, American English (in chicle-gum), from Mexican Spanish chicle, from Nahuatl (Aztec) tzictli.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for chicle

gum that consists of the coagulated milky juice (latex) of the sapodilla, or naseberry, tree (Achras zapota), a tropical American fruit tree principally from Yucatan, Guatemala, and other regions of Central America. Chicle is obtained as pinkish to reddish brown pieces and is said to contain both rubber and gutta-percha. Introduced as a substitute for rubber, chicle was imported to the United States in quantity as the principal ingredient of chewing gum by about 1890, but in the 1940s it was largely replaced by synthetic products. The latex is collected by making deep intersecting zigzag cuts in the bark to a height of 10 m (30 feet) or more up the trunk. The "milk" runs slowly to a receptacle at the base

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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