verb \im-ˈbä(l)m, em-\

: to treat (a dead body) with special chemicals to keep it from decaying

Full Definition of EMBALM

transitive verb
:  to treat (a dead body) so as to protect from decay
:  to fill with sweet odors :  perfume
:  to protect from decay or oblivion :  preserve <embalm a hero's memory>
:  to fix in a static condition
em·balm·er noun
em·balm·ment \-ˈbä(l)m-mənt, -ˈbȧm-\ noun

Origin of EMBALM

Middle English embaumen, from Anglo-French enbaumer, enbasmer, from en- + basme balm — more at balm
First Known Use: 14th century


transitive verb \im-ˈbä(l)m, New England also -ˈbȧm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of EMBALM

: to treat (a dead body) so as to protect from decay
em·balm·er noun
em·balm·ment \-ˈbä(l)m-mənt\ noun


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