follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

gutta-percha

[guht-uh-pur-chuh] /ˈgʌt əˈpɜr tʃə/
noun
1.
the milky juice, nearly white when pure, of various Malaysian trees of the sapodilla family, especially Palaquium gutta.
2.
the tough, rubberlike gum made from this and used as a dental cement, in the manufacture of golf balls, for insulating electric wires, etc.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; < Malay gətah (spelling getah) tree sap + perca rag, strip of cloth; perhaps so called from the appearance of the sap (Malay getah taban) in its marketed form
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for gutta-percha

gutta-percha

/ˈɡʌtəˈpɜːtʃə/
noun
1.
any of several tropical trees of the sapotaceous genera Palaquium and Payena, esp Palaquium gutta
2.
a whitish rubber substance derived from the coagulated milky latex of any of these trees: used in electrical insulation and dentistry
Word Origin
C19: from Malay getah gum + percha name of a tree that produces it
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gutta-percha
n.

1845, from Malay getah percha, literally "the gum of percha," the name of the tree; the form of the word influenced by Latin gutta "drop." As the name of the tree itself, from 1860.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
gutta-percha in Medicine

gutta-percha gut·ta-per·cha (gŭt'ə-pûr'chə)
n.
A rubbery substance from the latex of any of several tropical trees, used as a temporary filling material in dentistry and in the manufacture of orthopedic splints.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for gutta-percha

yellowish or brownish leathery material derived from the latex of certain trees in Malaysia, the South Pacific, and South America, especially Palaquium oblongifolia and, formerly, P. gutta. To obtain the latex, the tree may be felled and rings cut in the bark; in plantation cultivation the fresh leaves are gathered, chopped, and crushed. The mass is boiled in water and the gum removed and pressed into blocks

Learn more about gutta-percha with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gutta-percha

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gutta

6
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with gutta-percha