Definition of guaiacum in English:


Line breaks: guai|acum
Pronunciation: /ˈgwʌɪəkəm


  • 1An evergreen tree of the Caribbean and tropical America, formerly important for its hard, heavy, oily timber but now scarce. Also called lignum vitae.
    • Guaiacum officinale and G. sanctum, family Zygophyllaceae
    More example sentences
    • The Hapsburg Charles V also controlled Spain and, consequently, all shipping to and from Hispaniola, where the guaiacum tree grew.
    • In the United States the guaiacum is grown for decorative purposes in Florida and California.
    • There are natural concentrations of white and red fern leaf acacias in this Province, along with guaiacums, locust trees, itínes and white sages.
  • 1.1 another term for guaiac.
    More example sentences
    • And guaiacum is used by herbalists today.
    • In the early 16 th-century a ‘wonder drug’, guaiacum, from the Americas, was discovered, and thought to cure syphilis.
    • In 1519 the German humanist Ulrich von Hutton wrote a treatise on guaiacum, a new wonder drug from the Americas that was believed to cure syphilis.


mid 16th century: modern Latin, via Spanish from Taino guayacan.

More definitions of guaiacum

Definition of guaiacum in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grotesquerie
Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively