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[mas-tik] /ˈmæs tɪk/
Also called mastic tree, lentisk. a small Mediterranean tree, Pistacia lentiscus, of the cashew family, that is the source of an aromatic resin used in making varnish and adhesives.
any of several similar or related trees, as a pepper tree, Schinus molle, of western South America.
the resin obtained from the mastic.
any similar resin, especially one yielded by other trees of the same genus.
Building Trades.
  1. any of various preparations containing bituminous materials and used as an adhesive or seal.
  2. a pasty form of cement used for filling holes in masonry or plaster.
Origin of mastic
1350-1400; Middle English mastyk < Latin mastichē < Greek mastíchē chewing gum, akin to mastichân to gnash the teeth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for mastic


an aromatic resin obtained from the mastic tree and used as an astringent and to make varnishes and lacquers
mastic tree
  1. a small Mediterranean anacardiaceous evergreen tree, Pistacia lentiscus, that yields the resin mastic
  2. any of various similar trees, such as the pepper tree
any of several sticky putty-like substances used as a filler, adhesive, or seal in wood, plaster, or masonry
a liquor flavoured with mastic gum
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Late Latin mastichum, from Latin, from Greek mastikhē resin used as chewing gum; from mastikhan to grind the teeth
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 mastic

resin obtained from certain trees, late 14c., from Old French mastic (13c.) and directly from Late Latin mastichum, from Latin mastiche, from Greek mastikhe, of uncertain origin, probably related to masasthai "to chew" (see mastication). The substance is used as a chewing gum in the East.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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