from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several trees or shrubs of the genus Commiphora, especially C. opobalsamum, of Arabia and Somalia.
- n. See myrrh.
- n. A poplar tree of hybrid origin, with sticky, aromatic, resinous buds and heart-shaped leaves, cultivated as a shade tree.
- n. A shrubby plant (Cedronella canariensis) in the mint family, native to Madeira and the Canary Islands, having a large, lilac-to-violet corolla with two lips.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a small evergreen African and Asiatic tree of the terebinthine family (Balsamodendron Gileadense). Its leaves yield, when bruised, a strong aromatic scent; and from this tree is obtained the balm of Gilead of the shops, or balsam of Mecca. This has a yellowish or greenish color, a warm, bitterish, aromatic taste, and a fragrant smell. It is valued as an unguent and cosmetic by the Turks. The fragrant herb Dracocephalum Canariense is familiarly called balm of Gilead, and so are the American trees, Populus balsamifera, variety candicans (balsam poplar), and Abies balsamea (balsam fir).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. small evergreen tree of Africa and Asia; leaves have a strong aromatic odor when bruised
- n. medium-sized fir of northeastern North America; leaves smell of balsam when crushed; much used for pulpwood and Christmas trees
- n. a fragrant oleoresin
Alone, I believe, among the Concord houses of former times, it is set back far enough from the country-road to have an avenue leading to it, lined with balm of Gilead trees, and guarded at the entrance by two tall granite posts somewhat like obelisks.
But while most of the foliage is gaining in brilliancy, bare limbs are already seen here and there; the Virginia creepers are all but leafless, so are the black walnuts; and the balm of Gilead poplar is losing its large leaves.
Receive it then, my poor Clare, and let the utterings of my pen (which instead of gloomy ink I would dip into the sweet balm of Gilead for thy afflictions) prove again and again thy 'physician.'