Organic compound of the isoprenoid family. A white, waxy solid with a penetrating, somewhat musty aroma, it is obtained from the wood of the camphor laurel (see laurel family), Cinnamomum camphora (found in Asia), or produced synthetically from oil of turpentine. It has long been used in incense and as a medicinal. Modern applications include use as a plasticizer for cellulose nitrate, as a moth repellent, as a flavouring, in embalming, and in fireworks. Camphorated oil is 20% camphor in olive oil.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on camphor, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up camphor? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More