\ ˈbä(l)m How to pronounce balm (audio) \

Definition of balm

1 : a balsamic (see balsamic sense 1) resin especially : one from small tropical evergreen trees (genus Commiphora of the family Burseraceae)
2 : an aromatic preparation (such as a healing ointment) applied a balm to the wound
3 botany : any of several aromatic plants of the mint family especially : lemon balm
4 : a spicy aromatic odor … the white lilies in the garden, the herb bed near the bees—everything sent out fragrance and balm into the soft air …— Agnes S. Turnbull
5 : a soothing restorative agency Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.— Jane Austen

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of balm in a Sentence

Art can be a balm to the soul. She shows that laughter is a balm for difficult times.
Recent Examples on the Web Back in 2017, the show felt at once like a warped, fun-house mirror reflection of the times and a soothing balm. Tessa Stuart, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2021 Surprise your mom by choosing a colorful lip balm that is designed to complement her hair color! Robin Raven, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 From its best-selling cleansing balm to its nourishing lip mask, the brand seeks to deepen people's skincare routines with the most efficacious products. Dale Arden Chong, Glamour, 16 Apr. 2021 From shea body butters to exfoliating cleansers to a moisturizing lip balm, Hahahana’s mockup continues traditional self-care modules with present day advancements. Nandi Howard, Essence, 26 Mar. 2021 The growth oil and balm features no additives or harsh ingredients. Chris Hachey, BGR, 24 Mar. 2021 Selfishly for us, the sound of their laughter was a balm. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 For the art-starved, the summer 2021 exhibitions will be a balm, especially in London. Sarah Turner, Forbes, 28 May 2021 The clink of ice in a glass, the clatter of a good shake, the smooth stream of a measured pour — the sounds of cocktail hour can be a balm. Rebekah Peppler, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of balm

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for balm

Middle English basme, baume, from Anglo-French, from Latin balsamum balsam

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About balm

Time Traveler for balm

Time Traveler

The first known use of balm was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for balm

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Balm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for balm



English Language Learners Definition of balm

: an oily substance that has a pleasant smell and that is used for healing, smoothing, or protecting the skin
: something that gives comfort or support


\ ˈbäm How to pronounce balm (audio) , ˈbälm \

Kids Definition of balm

: a greasy substance used for healing or protecting the skin lip balm


\ ˈbä(l)m, New England also ˈbȧm \

Medical Definition of balm

1 : a balsamic resin especially : one from small tropical evergreen trees (genus Commiphora of the family Burseraceae)
2 : an aromatic preparation (as a healing ointment)
3 : a soothing restorative agency


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!