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

  • noun An aromatic gum resin obtained from several trees and shrubs of the genus Commiphora of northeastern Africa and Arabia, used in perfume, incense, and medicinal preparations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gummy resinous exudation from several species of Commiphora (Balsamodendron).
  • noun The sweet cicely of Europe. See Myrrhis.

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

  • noun A gum resin, usually of a yellowish brown or amber color, of an aromatic odor, and a bitter, slightly pungent taste. It is valued for its odor and for its medicinal properties. It exudes from the bark of a shrub of Abyssinia and Arabia, the Commiphora Myrrha (syn. Balsamodendron Myrrha) of the family Burseraceae, or from the Commiphora abyssinica. The myrrh of the Bible is supposed to have been partly the gum above named, and partly the exudation of species of Cistus, or rockrose.
  • noun See the Note under Bdellium.

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

  • noun uncountable A red-brown resinous material, the dried sap of the Commiphora myrrha tree.

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

  • noun aromatic resin that is burned as incense and used in perfume


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

[Latin myrrhis, an aromatic umbellifer (perhaps sweet cicely), from Greek murrhis, from murrha, myrrh (resin from trees of the genus Commiphora); see myrrh.]

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

[Middle English mirre, from Old English myrrha, from Latin, from Greek murrha, of Semitic origin; see mrr in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English myrre, from Latin myrrha, from Ancient Greek μύρρα (myrrha), from a Semitic root M-R-R meaning bitter. Compare Arabic مُرّ (murr, "bitter"), Hebrew מֹר (mor, "bitterness, acrimony").


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  • "What is myrrh, anyway?"

    October 11, 2007

  • A substance secreted by myrrhmaids?

    October 11, 2007

  • Har! Thanks for that one.

    October 11, 2007

  • A cow speaking with an odd accent?

    October 11, 2007

  • Bahahaha!

    October 11, 2007

  • The answer to "Can you think of any words that rhyme with "brrr?"

    October 11, 2007

  • Grrrr...!

    October 11, 2007

  • Erm, burr, cur, slur, whirr, fur, blur, never mind.

    October 11, 2007

  • Wait...wasn't that a rhetorical question?

    October 11, 2007

  • Aye, that it were. For sure.

    October 11, 2007

  • Well, I didn't say it was the only answer...

    October 11, 2007

  • And, to answer reesetee, I was kind of trolling for Monty Python fans with the original question.

    October 11, 2007

  • Yep. You don't have to troll far in this place.

    October 12, 2007

  • If we only had a shrubbery...

    October 12, 2007

  • Well, if you're dropping by again, do pop in, huh. And thanks a lot for the gold, and frankincence, but don't worry too much about the myrrh next time, all right?

    December 14, 2007

  • See also demurred.

    December 14, 2007

  • "Long before the invention of television or the romantic novelist there was the Song of Songs, with its lyrical evocation of the loved one as 'an orchard of pomegranates with all the choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, with all chief spices.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation _ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), xiii.

    November 26, 2016

  • Interesting historical note/usage on bdellium. Another on galbanum, and a translated primary source from ca. 900 on perfumer.

    December 2, 2016