balm

noun \ ˈbä(l)m \
Updated on: 13 Dec 2017

Definition of balm

1 : a balsamic (see balsamic 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

  1. Art can be a balm to the soul.

  2. She shows that laughter is a balm for difficult times.

Recent Examples of balm from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of balm

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

balm Synonyms


BALM Defined for English Language Learners

balm

noun

Definition of balm for English Language Learners

  • : 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


BALM Defined for Kids

balm

noun \ ˈbäm , ˈbälm \

Definition of balm for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

balm

noun \ 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


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