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Definition of "tragacanth" [trag•a•canth]

  • Any of various thorny shrubs of the genus Astragalus, especially A. gummifer, of the Middle East, yielding a gum used in pharmacy, adhesives, and textile printing. (noun)
  • The gum of this plant. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "tragacanth" in a sentence
  • "And the colors: I was certain that Martha Stewart, who had recently featured Necco wafers on a wedding cake (historically apt; the pièces montées that made Marie-Antoine Carême perhaps the first star chef, in the early 19th century, were made of gum tragacanth, the base of Necco wafers and still the base of many wedding-cake decorations), would be designing a line of paints around them."
  • "We know about chypre scents being made on the island as early as the 12thOyselets de Chypre Chypre Birds were formed from a paste of labdanum, styrax and calamus, mixed with tragacanth."
  • "It and gum tragacanth are slightly soluble and eventually dissolve when chewed; they were used in early medicine as carriers that would release drugs slowly."