Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

pomander

play
noun po·man·der \ˈpō-ˌman-dər, pō-ˈ\

Definition of pomander

  1. 1 :  a mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a perforated bag or box and used to scent clothes and linens or formerly carried as a guard against infection; also :  a clove-studded orange or apple used for the same purposes

  2. 2 :  a box or hollow fruit-shaped ball for holding pomander



Did You Know?

In earlier times, there was more at stake in the use of an "apple of amber" (the literal meaning of Anglo-French pomme de ambre, modified to "pomander" in Middle English) than the addition of holiday spirit. Pomanders were used to offset foul odors and were also believed to protect against disease. Early pomanders were usually mixtures of fragrant spices, herbs, etc. in small metal containers, and they were often worn on chains, as jewelry, around the neck or at the waist. Today, we no longer believe pomanders ward off infections, but we still like nice-smelling things, and the word pomander survives to name the modern version of this aromatic, decorative object.

Origin and Etymology of pomander

Middle English, modification of Anglo-French pomme de ambre, literally, apple or ball of amber


First Known Use: 15th century


Medical Dictionary

pomander

play
noun po·man·der \ˈpō-ˌman-dər, pō-ˈ\

Medical Definition of pomander

  1. :  a mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a perforated bag or box and used to scent clothes and linens or formerly carried as a guard against infection; also :  a clove-studded orange or apple used for the same purposes




Learn More about pomander

  1. Medical Dictionary: Definition of pomander Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pomander


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pomander? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the lowest point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

frightening experimental massive formless
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ