balm

noun
\ 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

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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

Your favorite lip balm might be made from a fatty substance extracted from sheep's wool. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup," 29 Nov. 2018 This meant swapping my sweatpants for skirts and replacing my barely-there balm with a Power Lip (just switching out that one thing is a million times easier than doing a full face beat). Janell M. Hickman, Marie Claire, "I Thought I Hated Liquid Lipstick—Oh, How Wrong I Was," 21 Nov. 2018 Even Kiernan Shipka's Sabrina is seen dabbling in rich, red shades that go beyond her usual barely-tinted lip balm. Marci Robin, Allure, "The Lipsticks Worn by the Witches of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Are Surprisingly Pricey," 1 Nov. 2018 Cannabis—at the gym, in your morning smoothie and your lip balm—is becoming more mainstream by the day. Sara Gaynes Levy, Vogue, "“Magic Mushrooms” May Be an FDA-Approved Drug for Anxiety and Depression in the Near Future," 6 Oct. 2018 Over the past year, corporate earnings haven’t been the balm that many had hoped for the markets. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Slowing Earnings Growth, Gloomy Forecasts Add to Stock Market’s Woes," 13 Jan. 2019 Much like exercising, listening to true-crime podcasts, and petting my dog, Poehler's overalls are the balm for which my soul has been yearning. Lourdes Avila Uribe, Glamour, "Amy Poehler's Making It Overalls Are the Only Pure Thing Left in the World," 16 Oct. 2018 Bae is probs trying to kiss your actual lips, not your Melon Mango Primer, so stick to that good ol' neutral lip balm. Bernadette Anat, Seventeen, "How to Kiss: 20 Secrets Good Kissers Know," 2 Aug. 2018 What does stick in my craw is the idea that the actual lottery is all that’s left, which, in a paradoxical way, is why My Lottery Dream Home is such a balm for the soul. Angela Serratore, Curbed, "The pure joy of HGTV’s ‘My Lottery Dream Home’," 21 Sep. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for balm

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for balm

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

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More Definitions for balm

balm

noun

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

balm

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

Kids Definition of balm

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on balm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with balm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for balm

Spanish Central: Translation of balm

Nglish: Translation of balm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of balm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about balm

Comments on balm

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