Beat one’s gums

Often, gums. Also called gingiva. the firm, fleshy tissue covering the alveolar parts of either jaw and enveloping the necks of the teeth.
to masticate (food) with the gums instead of teeth.
to shape or renew the teeth of (a saw), as by grinding.
beat one’s gums, Slang. to talk excessively or ineffectively.
any of various sticky substances that exude from certain plants, hardening on exposure to air and dissolving or forming viscous masses in water
any of various products, such as adhesives, that are made from such exudates
any sticky substance used as an adhesive; mucilage; glue
(NZ) short for kauri gum
See chewing gum, bubble gum, gumtree
(mainly Brit) a gumdrop
verb gums, gumming, gummed
to cover or become covered, clogged, or stiffened with or as if with gum
(transitive) to stick together or in place with gum
(intransitive) to emit or form gum
the fleshy tissue that covers the jawbones around the bases of the teeth Technical name gingiva, related adjective gingival
used in the mild oath by gum!
genitourinary medicine

“resin,” c.1300, from Old French gome “(medicinal) gum, resin,” from Late Latin gumma, from Latin gummi, from Greek kommi “gum,” from Egyptian kemai. As a shortened form of chewing gum, first attested 1842 in American English. The gum tree (1670s) was so called for the resin it exudes.

“membranes of the mouth,” Old English goma “palate, side of the mouth” (single or plural), from a Germanic source represented by Old Norse gomi “palate,” Old High German goumo; related to Lithuanian gomurys “palate,” and perhaps from PIE *gheu- “to yawn” (cf. Greek khaos; see chaos).

early 14c., gommen, “treat with (medicinal or aromatic) gums,” from gum (n.1). In the transferred or figurative sense of “spoil, ruin” (usually with up), it is first recorded 1901, probably from the notion of machinery becoming clogged. Of infants, etc., “to chew or gnaw (something) with the gums,” by 1907, from gum (n.2). Related: Gummed; gumming.

gum 1 (gŭm)

Any of various viscous substances that are exuded by certain plants and trees and dry into water-soluble, noncrystalline, brittle solids.

A similar plant exudate, such as a resin.

Any of various adhesives made from such exudates or other sticky substance.

gum 2
The firm connective tissue covered by mucous membrane that envelops the alveolar arches of the jaw and surrounds the bases of the teeth. Also called gingiva. v. gummed, gum·ming, gums
To chew food with toothless gums.
gum 1
Any of various sticky substances that are produced by certain plants and trees and dry into brittle solids soluble in water. Gums typically are colloidal mixtures of polysaccharides and mineral salts.
gum 2
See gingiva.

verb phrase

To talk excessively: she wastes all her time beating her gums

Related Terms

bat one’s gums


To talk; chatter: The he-gossips at the Press Club have been gumming about another romance (1940s+)
gum up (1901+)

Related Terms

bat one’s gums, bubblegum music, the bubblegum set


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