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From Latin sandaraca, from Ancient Greek σανδαράκη (sandarákē, realgar).


sandarac (countable and uncountable, plural sandaracs)

  1. (mineralogy, archaic) Realgar; red sulphide of arsenic.
  2. (botany, chemistry) A white or yellow resin obtained from a north African tree Tetraclinis articulata), and pulverized for pounce; probably so called from a resemblance to the mineral.
    • 1952, L.F. Salzman, Building in England, page 171:
      Oil was also used for making varnish, by dissolving sandarac in it, and as the 'vernysshe' which appears so frequently in accounts was always bought by the pound, the term was evidently applied to the sandarac, or other similar resinous substance.
  3. Any tree from the genus Tetraclinis.