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lacquer tree

noun
1.
any of several trees yielding a resin used as lacquer, as Rhus verniciflua, of Japan.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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