American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several aromatic resins, such as balsam of Peru and balsam of Tolu, that contain considerable amounts of benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, or both, or their esters.
- n. Any of several other fragrant plant resins, such as Canada balsam.
- n. A similar substance, especially a fragrant ointment used as medication; a balm.
- n. Any of various trees, especially the balsam fir, yielding an aromatic resinous substance.
- n. See jewelweed.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An oily, aromatic, resinous substance, exuding spontaneously from trees of the genus Balsamodendron; hence, by extension, any aromatic or odoriferous exudation from trees or shrubs, whether spontaneous or after incision; balm. A great variety of substances pass under this name; but in chemistry the term is confined to vegetable juices, whether they remain liquid or spontaneously become solid, which consist of resins mixed with gums or volatile oils, the resins being produced from the oils by oxidation. A balsam is thus intermediate between a volatile oil and a resin. It is soluble in alcohol and ether, and capable of yielding benzoic acid. The balsams are either liquid or solid: of the former are the balm of Gilead and the balsams of copaiba, Peru, and Tolu (see below); of the latter, benzoin, dragon's blond, and storax. The balsam used in the Roman Catholic Church in the confection of chrism is, by the rubrics, that of Syria or Mecca; but, from difficulty in obtaining this, concessions have been made by the popes for the use of the balsams of Brazil, Tolu, Peru, etc.
- n. An aromatic preparation used for embalming the dead.
- n. Any aromatic fragrant ointment, whether for ceremonial or for medicinal use, as for healing wounds or soothing pain.
- n. Figuratively, any healing or soothing agent or agency.
- n. In alchemy, a healthful preservative essence, of oily penetrative nature, conceived by Paracelsus to exist in all organic bodies.
- n. A tree yielding an aromatic, oily resin. In the United States the name is often applied generally to the firs (species of Abies), and sometimes ignorantly to the spruces also. See
- n. The Impatiens balsamina, a familiar flowering annual, of Eastern origin, cultivated in many varieties, often called garden-balsam, and in the United States lady's-slipper; also, the native European species, I. Noli-me-tangere, and the American I. fulva. See Impatiens and jewel-weed.
- n. In medical prescriptions abbreviated to bals.
- To apply balsam or balm to; anoint with balm or balsam.
- To embalm.
- n. A sweet-smelling oil or resin derived from various plants.
- n. A plant or tree yielding such substance.
- n. A soothing ointment.
- n. figuratively Something soothing.
- n. A flowering plant of the genus Impatiens.
- n. A balsam fir.
- n. Canada balsam, a turpentine obtained from the resin of balsam fir.
- v. transitive To treat or anoint with balsam.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A resin containing more or less of an essential or volatile oil.
- n. A species of tree (Abies balsamea).
- n. An annual garden plant (Impatiens balsamina) with beautiful flowers; balsamine.
- n. Anything that heals, soothes, or restores.
- v. To treat or anoint with balsam; to relieve, as with balsam; to render balsamic.
- n. an ointment containing a fragrant resin
- n. any seed plant yielding balsam
- n. any of various fragrant oleoresins used in medicines and perfumes
- From Middle English *balsam, balsme, from Old English balsam, balsamum ("balsam, balm"), from Latin balsamum, from Ancient Greek βάλσαμον (balsamon, "balsam"), of Semitic origin. (Wiktionary)
- Latin balsamum, from Greek balsamon, of Semitic origin; see bśm in Semitic roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Back: Spinach and feta “börek” roll, roasted bell peppers in balsam vinegar, a babybel cheese and a chocolate frog.”
“Abies Englemanii, near of kin to what is often called the balsam fir.”
“He then proceeds with the mass, during which the balsam is brought in, and also the oil for the chrism and that for the catechumens, by two deacons.”
“Nipped by the frost till the tang of their loosened balsam is keener;”
“The balsam is less common, generally found in marshy spots, in company with its kinsman, the tamarack, which in summer, at least, has all the appearance of an evergreen.”
“The balsam is a beautiful tree; though not aspiring to the dignity of the pine and hemlock, it shoots up in the most perfect and gradual spire-like form, to a height of thirty or forty feet, remarkable for its elegance; the foliage is very rich in color and quantity.”
“The most attractive tree I have seen is the silver spruce, Abies Englemanii, near of kin to what is often called the balsam fir.”
“The Smith/Stearn/Smith volume lists the first but omits balsam from the vernacular list.”
“The Italian word balsam means balm, something soothing, even an ointment, and that it certainly is.”
“A species of fir which one of my men informs me is precisely the same with that called the balsam fir of Canada. 1 it grows here to considerable size, being from 2 1/2 to 4 feet in diameter and rises to the hight of eighty or an hundred feet. it 's stem is simple branching, ascending and proliferous. it's leaves are sessile, acerose, one 1/8 of an inch in length and”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘balsam’.
Words in the Bible evoking biblical stories or with special spiritual meaning. Proper names have been reduced to the minimum.
The list begins with evocative words I found in a Bed Bath & Beyond catalog, but other words in a similar vein are welcome, with two simple rules: they must come out of catalogs, and they can't...
For those who wish no words were ever forgotten
Words as I learn them.
Naturally occurring gums and resins.
pleasing words I encounter whilst reading umberto eco's novel of the same name.
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
By David Foster Wallace
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