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

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 Launching their beauty line in 2000, their first collection of single-use skincare products and lip balms wrapped in sterilized, disposable packaging was quickly discontinued. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 6 Feb. 2024 Capital Bee Company from Savannah will bring honeys including orange blossom, raspberry and holly, plus handcrafted honey soap, lip balms, body lotions and candles. Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Some products aim to both remove makeup and cleanse, particularly cleansing oils and makeup balms. Iman Balagam, Vogue, 25 Jan. 2024 The company introduced a Cranberry Spritz lip balm in the walkup to the holidays as well as the flavors chai tea, pumpkin spice, vanilla maple, and pomegranate. Chris Morris, Fortune, 19 Jan. 2024 In comparison to the Butter Balm, the lip tint feels a bit more like a gloss than a balm in texture. Dianna Mazzone, Allure, 18 Jan. 2024 Lululemon Mini Belt Bag For a teen who has nothing more to carry than a phone, some lip gloss or balm, and maybe their keys, the Lululemon mini belt bag is ideally sized (and priced) for a name-brand bag while still being fully functional. Chaunie Brusie, Rn, Parents, 15 Jan. 2024 Lips oils are a nourishing alternative to lip balms, formulated with hydrating ingredients that are meant to enhance the skin of your lips and smooth out any cracks or dry areas. Sophie Dodd, Peoplemag, 7 Jan. 2024 Wear it underneath your favorite lip balm or pair it with lipstick for a bolder look. Talia Connor, Rolling Stone, 22 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'balm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near balm

Cite this Entry

“Balm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balm. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

balm

noun
1
: resin from small tropical evergreen trees
2
: a fragrant healing or soothing preparation (as an ointment)
3
: something that comforts or refreshes

Medical Definition

balm

noun
ˈbä(l)m, New England also ˈbȧm
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

More from Merriam-Webster on balm

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