lignum vitae

lignum vitae
/lig"neuhm vuy"tee, vee"tuy/
1. either of two tropical American trees, Guaiacum officinale or G. sanctum, of the caltrop family, having very hard, heavy wood.
2. the wood of such a tree, used for making pulley blocks, mallet heads, bearings, etc.
3. any of several other trees yielding a similar hard wood.
[1585-95; < NL, LL, name of the tree, lit., wood of life]

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 any of several trees of the genus Guaiacum, of the family Zygophyllaceae, particularly G. officinale, native to the New World tropics.

      Guaiacum officinale occurs from the southern United States to northern South America. It grows about 9 m (30 feet) tall and reaches a diameter of about 25 cm (10 inches). The evergreen leaves are opposite, divided into leaflets (arranged along an axis), and leathery in texture. The flowers are bright blue when first open but gradually fade to white. The yellow, heart-shaped fruit is about 2 cm (0.8 inch) long.

      The tree is the source of a very hard, heavy wood that is brownish green in colour. It is used to make pulleys, shafts, axles, and bowling balls. The wood is relatively waterproof because of its high fat content. The resin, called guaiacum, is obtained from the wood by distillation; it is used to treat respiratory disorders.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Lignum vitae — is the heartwood of species of the genus Guaiacum , the trees of which are also called guayacan.The name is Latin for wood of life , and derives from its medicinal uses. Other names are palo santo, holy wood, greenheart and ironwood (one of many) …   Wikipedia

  • Lignum-vitae — Lig num vi tae (l[i^]g n[u^]m v[imac] t[=e]), n. [L., wood of life; lignum wood + vita, genitive vit[ae], life.] (Bot.) A tree ({Guaiacum officinale}) found in the warm latitudes of America, from which the {guaiacum} of medicine is procured. Its… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lignum vitae — [lig′nəm vīt′ē] n. [ModL < L lignum, wood (see LIGNEOUS) + vitae, gen. of vita, life: see BIO ] 1. GUAIACUM (sense 1) 2. Commerce the very hard wood of the guaiacum, used in marine and machine bearings, casters, pulleys, etc …   English World dictionary

  • lignum vitae — noun (plural lignum vitaes) Etymology: New Latin, literally, wood of life Date: 1594 1. the very hard heavy wood of any of several tropical American guaiacums 2. a tree yielding lignum vitae …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lignum vitae — lig·num vi·tae .lig nəm vīt ē n, pl lignum vitaes 1) any of several tropical American trees of the genus Guaiacum with very hard heavy wood esp either of two (G. officinale or G. sanctum) that are sources of guaiacum resin 2) the wood of a lignum …   Medical dictionary

  • Lignum vitae — Gaïac Le gaïac est un bois brun verdâtre très dur. Sa densité est de 1,3. Il est aussi appelé « bois saint » ou « bois de vie » (en latin lignum vitae). Il s agit des espèces Guaiacum officinale et Guaiacum sanctum, des petits …   Wikipédia en Français

  • lignum-vitae — vaistinis gvajokas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Keimerūninių šeimos medieninis, dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Guaiacum officinale), paplitęs Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Guaiacum officinale angl. guaiacum; lignum vitae vok.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • lignum-vitae — šventasis gvajokas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Keimerūninių šeimos dekoratyvinis, medieninis, vaistinis augalas (Guaiacum sanctum), paplitęs Šiaurės ir Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Guaiacum sanctum angl. guaiacum; holywood; lignum …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Lignum vitae — …   Википедия

  • lignum vitae — noun a) The guaiacum tree. b) The wood or resin from such a tree …   Wiktionary

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