\ 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

The more stable form of the vitamin appears in anti-aging wrinkle creams, shave gels, lip balms, shampoos, and soaps, as well as vitamin pills. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Probe into vaping-linked illnesses turns up form of vitamin E from skin creams [Updated]," 6 Sep. 2019 WIDE COLOR SELECTION The re-coloring balm comes in 21 colors, from traditional Beige and Black to standout Lilac or Light Blue. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Furniture Clinic Leather Re-Coloring Balm," 1 Aug. 2019 Tinted lip balm is great for a healthy, super-quick flush of color. NBC News, "Mika's makeup artist: How to look ready to conquer the world in 10 minutes," 24 July 2019 My robust nighttime routine is complete with a cleansing balm, toner, essence, ampoule, and countless sheet masks straight from Seoul. Allure, "The Best Korean Makeup That Every K-Beauty Fan Needs to Try," 22 Aug. 2019 Mistake #4: Nobody likes to feel like they're coated in a heavy, sticky balm. Beth Janes, Good Housekeeping, "Are You Moisturizing Your Skin Correctly?," 2 Aug. 2019 Should your lips need a little hydration in between sips of rosé, look to KNC Beauty’s cult cute balms; small enough to slip into that Jacquemus Chiquito bag. Vogue, "10 New Beauty Products We’re Buying This Month," 1 Aug. 2019 The athletic brand recently launched their first foray into beauty with a new line, Selfcare, that includes a dry shampoo, lip balm, moisturizer, and a deodorant. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "I Sweat My Way Through Lululemon's New Line of Exercise-Friendly Beauty Products," 11 July 2019 In a second body cam clip, an officer empties Zhukovskyy’s pockets pulling out two lighters, a wallet, lip balm, a package of cigarettes, one other object, and a small cylindrical tube. Matt Rocheleau,, "Video shows recent drug charge arrest of truck driver charged in deadly N.H. crash," 27 June 2019

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

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for balm

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

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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

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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 Encyclopedia article about balm

Comments on balm

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


to make a temporary encampment

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