from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A balsamic resin obtained from certain tropical Asian trees of the genus Styrax and used in perfumery and medicine. Also called benjamin, gum benjamin, gum benzoin.
- n. A white or yellowish crystalline compound, C14H12O2, derived from benzaldehyde.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A resinous substance, dry and brittle, obtained from the Styrax benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, etc., having a fragrant odor, and slightly aromatic taste. It is used in the preparation of benzoic acid, in medicine, and as a perfume.
- n. A white crystalline substance, C14H12O2, obtained from benzoic aldehyde and some other sources.
- n. The spicebush (Lindera benzoin).
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Gum benjamin; the concrete resinous juice of Styrax Benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, and the Malay peninsula, obtained by incisions into the bark.
- n. [capitalized] A genus of aromatic dicotyledonous trees or shrubs of the family Lauraceæ. See Lindera.
- n. A compound, C6H5CHOHCOC6H5, formed when benzaldehyde is boiled with alcohol containing a little potassium cyanide. It melts at 130° C. and boils at 344° C. Also diphenylethanolone.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. used in some classifications for the American spicebush and certain other plants often included in the genus Lindera
- n. gum resin used especially in treating skin irritation
Earlier benjoin, from French benjoin and Italian benzoino, both from Arabic lubān jāwī, frankincense of Java; see lbn in Semitic roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French benjoin, from Spanish benjuí, Portuguese beijoin, Italian benzoi, from Arabic لبان جاوي (lubān jāwī, "Javanese frankincense"). The initial lu was probably lost because it was taken as the definite article in Romance. Compare oliban. (Wiktionary)