liquidambar

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Liquidambar sweet gum
    • n liquidambar any tree of the genus Liquidambar
    • n liquidambar aromatic exudate from the sweet gum tree
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Liquidambar (Bot) A genus consisting of two species of tall trees having star-shaped leaves, and woody burlike fruit. Liquidambar styraciflua is the North American sweet qum, and Liquidambar Orientalis is found in Asia Minor.
    • Liquidambar The balsamic juice which is obtained from these trees by incision. The liquid balsam of the Oriental tree is liquid storax.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Liquidambar A genus of dicotyledonous trees of the natural order Hamamelideæ distinguished by monœcious flowers without petals, growing in heads and surrounded by an involucre of four bracts. The carpels of the fruit are tipped by long, persistent styles, and the leaves are palmately lobed and deciduous. There are two species—one, L. orientalis of Asia Minor, furnishing the balsam called liquid storax; the other, L. styracíflua of the warmer parts of North America, extending as far north as Connecticut, Ohio, etc., abundant and at its best on bottom-lands in the South. The latter is a large tree with handsome, shining, star-shaped leaves. In hot regions it exudes a gum, sometimes called copalm(a name also given to the tree) or copal-balsam, used in the preparation of chewing-gum, and to some extent in medicine as a substitute for storax. The tree is variously named sweet-gum, starleafed gum, liquid-amber (liquidamber) or amber, red-gum, and bilsted, as well as copalm. From the corky ridges of its branches, it has been called alligator-tree. Fossil remains of the genus are found in the Tertiary deposits of Europe, Greenland, Alaska, California, and Colorado, and also in Japan, and one species occurs in the Cretaceous of Kansas and Nebraska. Sixteen fossil species have been described.
    • n Liquidambar [lowercase] A tree of this genus.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Liquidambar lik‚Ä≤wid-am-bar a genus of balsamiferous trees of the witch-hazel family (Hamamelidace√¶), native to Mexico and the United States.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Liquid, + amber,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. liquidus, liquid, Low L. ambar, amber.

Usage

In literature:

Be this as it may, there are times when I sincerely long for a ball of liquidambar or a mouthful of pungent spring buds.
"Lippincott's Magazine, August, 1885" by Various
I was no longer among the heavy trunks of platanus and liquidambar.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
Those found in commerce are the balsam of Peru, balsam of Tolu, liquid storax and liquidambar.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2" by Various
But as to the liquidambar, or sweet-gum, there can be no question.
"Getting Acquainted with the Trees" by J. Horace McFarland
The Sweetgum or Liquidambar is a tree that grows widely over the United States.
"Woodcraft" by Alan Douglas
LIQUIDAMBAR, L. SWEET-GUM TREE.
"The Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States" by Asa Gray
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In poetry:

Autumn comes, and Claret Ashes,
Liquidambars, showing splashes
From her palette, don the motley - Joseph's coats of many a hue:
Russet-red and golden-yellow
As the season waxes mellow.
As for me, like certain gum-trees, I perversely grow more blue.
"Autumn Song" by C J Dennis