balsa

noun

bal·​sa ˈbȯl-sə How to pronounce balsa (audio)
1
: a small raft or boat
specifically : one made of tightly bundled reeds and used on Lake Titicaca
2
: a tropical American tree (Ochroma pyramidale synonym O. lagopus) of the silk-cotton family with extremely light strong wood used especially for floats
also : its wood

Examples of balsa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even a jerkbait with a buoyant balsa wood body that will rise incredibly fast on the pause can be made to hover with the addition of a few dots. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 9 May 2024 Although sometimes dismissed as a bunch of guys in rubber suits pushing each other into balsa wood skyscrapers (and what’s wrong with that?!), the Godzilla series is a triumph of sci-fi world-building and practical effects. Katie Rife, EW.com, 28 Mar. 2024 The ornate balsa wood panel had previously been displayed at a Planet Hollywood in Orlando, Florida before being stored in their archives for some two decades, the auction house told CNN. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 What prompted the winning bidder to pay more than $700,000 for a balsa wood prop remains a mystery. Kim Bellware, Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2024 The pendulum-like mechanism was on ropes, and Buckley says there was a foot of balsa wood that was supposed to prevent any injury. Eric Andersson, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024 For the first 30 years, my prosthesis was balsa wood with a simple mechanical knee. Jothy Rosenberg, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 The way all this plays out is lighter than balsa wood. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 Across the room, a balsa prototype of the iconic, spiderlike rigging used on U2’s 360° tour leans off an easel spattered with inky sketches. WIRED, 4 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'balsa.' 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

Spanish

First Known Use

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of balsa was circa 1600

Dictionary Entries Near balsa

Cite this Entry

“Balsa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balsa. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

balsa

noun
bal·​sa ˈbȯl-sə How to pronounce balsa (audio)
1
: raft entry 1
especially : one made of two cylinders of metal or wood joined by a frame
2
: a tropical American tree with extremely light strong wood used especially for floats
also : its wood

More from Merriam-Webster on balsa

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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