sweet gum

noun
1.
a tall, aromatic tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, of the eastern U.S., having star-shaped leaves and fruits in rounded, burlike clusters.
2.
the hard reddish-brown wood of this tree, used for making furniture.
3.
the amber balsam exuded by this tree, used in the manufacture of perfumes and medicines.
Also called red gum (for defs 1, 2).


Origin:
1690–1700, Americanism

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Collins
World English Dictionary
sweet gum
 
n
1.  Compare sour gum a North American liquidambar tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, having prickly spherical fruit clusters and fragrant sap: the wood (called satin walnut) is used to make furniture
2.  the sap of this tree

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sweet gum

any of about four species of flowering plants within the genus Altingia, family Altingiaceae, native to North America and Asia and valued for resin, timber, and ornament.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
He and his friends had been peacefully roaming in the shaded forest, snapping branches filled with sweet gum.
The area boasts beautiful mature hardwoods, including cypress, sweet gum and red and water oak.
The forest is characterized by several species of oak, hickory and sweet gum.
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