From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Latex \La"tex\, n. [L.]
   1. (Bot.) A milky or colored juice in certain plants in
      cavities (called latex cells or latex tubes). It contains
      the peculiar principles of the plants, whether aromatic,
      bitter, or acid, and in many instances yields caoutchouc
      upon coagulation. The lattex of the India rubber plant
      produces the rubber of commerce on coagulation.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]

   2. (Chem.) Any aqueous emulsion of finely divided rubber or
      plastic particles, especially such an emulsion used as a
      base for paint; as, a latex paint.
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