lacquer tree

lacquer tree

noun
any of several trees yielding a resin used as lacquer, as Rhus verniciflua, of Japan.

Origin:
1860–65

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

lacquer tree

any of various trees whose milky juice is used to make a varnish or lacquer. The term is applied particularly to an Asian tree (Rhus verniciflua), related to poison ivy, that is highly irritating to the skin. On being tapped, the tree exudes a thick, milky emulsion that was possibly used as the first drying oil; it has the peculiar property of drying only in a moist atmosphere. From this exudate comes the lacquer used to produce the highly polished woodenware of China and Japan with hard and durable coats unaffected by water.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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