bal·​sa | \ ˈbȯl-sə How to pronounce balsa (audio) \

Definition of balsa

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 In reality, little balsa-wood sticks are fragile things, and the combination of phosphorous and potassium in the match head is prone to drying out and crumbling. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 3 Mar. 2017 Using balsa wood, Holliday replaced the parts of the coffins from which the bodies would need to burst and scored the wood for extra-easy breakage. Anne Victoria Clark, Vulture, 15 July 2021 Most likely your parents helped you fashion blocks of pine or balsa into a light, four-wheeled racer, usually about the width and length of an iPhone. Andrew Zaleski, Popular Science, 3 June 2020 Turbine blades typically have glass-fibre skins, balsa-wood cores and metal or carbon-fibre spars. The Economist, 28 May 2020 This superb and innovative balsa-wood plug has been around longer than most anglers who fish it. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, 22 May 2020 The Scatter Raps are made of balsa wood and are available in 14 colors. Field & Stream, 27 Dec. 2019 For the kitchen island, White assembled balsa wood into a simple table design, then painted it to look like marble veining. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 31 Dec. 2019 Outside of its optimal use cases, millimeter-wave’s fragility will probably leave it as the balsa wood of bandwidth solutions. Rob Pegoraro, Ars Technica, 4 Dec. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balsa.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of balsa

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for balsa


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The first known use of balsa was circa 1600

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Dictionary Entries Near balsa

baloxavir marboxil



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Cite this Entry

“Balsa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for balsa


bal·​sa | \ ˈbȯl-sə How to pronounce balsa (audio) \

Kids Definition of balsa

: the very light but strong wood of a tropical American tree

More from Merriam-Webster on balsa

Nglish: Translation of balsa for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about balsa

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