Rubber is the material that's used to make things like bouncy balls, rain boots, and car tires. Most rubber comes partly from rubber trees.

To make rubber, manufacturers harvest latex from rubber trees by tapping them — the process is similar to collecting sap from maple trees. It's then refined and processed, often with other materials, to make things ranging from conveyer belts in factories to balloons and the gloves doctors wear. When rubber first arrived in Europe in the 1700s, it was made into erasers, and the idea of rubbing out mistakes led to the word rubber being coined.

Definitions of rubber
  1. noun
    an elastic material obtained from the latex sap of trees (especially trees of the genera Hevea and Ficus) that can be vulcanized and finished into a variety of products
    synonyms: India rubber, caoutchouc, gum elastic, natural rubber
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    foam rubber
    spongy rubber; made by introducing air bubbles before vulcanization and used for cushioning or upholstery
    crepe rubber
    crude natural rubber; used mainly for shoe soles
    cold rubber
    a rubber made at low temperatures (5 degrees Centigrade) which is tougher than conventional rubber and is often used in car tires
    ebonite, hard rubber, vulcanite
    a hard nonresilient rubber formed by vulcanizing natural rubber
    Para rubber
    a type of natural rubber obtained from tropical South American trees
    type of:
    a milky exudate from certain plants that coagulates on exposure to air
  2. noun
    any of various synthetic elastic materials whose properties resemble natural rubber
    synonyms: synthetic rubber
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    silicone rubber
    made from silicone elastomers; retains flexibility resilience and tensile strength over a wide temperature range
    a synthetic rubber that is resistant to oils and aging; used in waterproof products
    buna, buna rubber
    made by polymerizing butadiene
    butyl rubber
    synthetic rubber made by polymerizing isobutylene
    type of:
    synthetic, synthetic substance
    a compound made artificially by chemical reactions
  3. noun
    an eraser made of rubber (or of a synthetic material with properties similar to rubber); commonly mounted at one end of a pencil
    synonyms: pencil eraser, rubber eraser
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    type of:
    an implement used to erase something
  4. noun
    a waterproof overshoe that protects shoes from water or snow
    synonyms: arctic, galosh, golosh, gumshoe
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    type of:
    footwear that protects your shoes from water or snow or cold
  5. noun
    contraceptive device consisting of a sheath of thin rubber or latex that is worn over the penis during intercourse
  6. verb
    coat or impregnate with rubber
    synonyms: rubberise, rubberize
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    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
  7. adjective
    returned for lack of funds
    “a rubber check”
    synonyms: no-good
    having undesirable or negative qualities
Word Family

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