Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To treat (a corpse) with preservatives in order to prevent decay.
  • transitive verb To protect from change or oblivion; preserve or fix.
  • transitive verb To impart fragrance to; perfume.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To dress or anoint with balm; specifically, to preserve from decay by means of balsams or other aromatic spices; keep from putrefaction by impregnating with spices, gums, and chemicals, as a dead body.
  • Hence To preserve from neglect or decay; preserve in memory.
  • To impart fragrance to; fill with sweet scent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To anoint all over with balm; especially, to preserve from decay by means of balm or other aromatic oils, or spices; to fill or impregnate (a dead body), with aromatics and drugs that it may resist putrefaction.
  • transitive verb To fill or imbue with sweet odor; to perfume.
  • transitive verb To preserve from decay or oblivion as if with balm; to perpetuate in remembrance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To treat a corpse with preservatives in order to prevent decomposition
  • verb transitive To perfume or add fragrance to something

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb preserve a dead body

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English embaumen, from Old French embasmer : en-, in; see en– + basme, balm; see balm.]

Examples

Comments

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  • "Gee, what a terrific party. Later on we'll get some fluid and embalm each other."

    - Neil Simon.

    February 18, 2009

  • "To protect from change or oblivion; preserve or fix: "A precedent embalms a principle” (Benjamin Disraeli)." --AHD

    June 8, 2012