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
Recent Examples of balsa from the Web
The authors remind us how, quietly and without notice, so many things left the American scene — like chop suey, hotel keys, rotary phones, fire escapes, and balsa-wood model airplanes.
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.
Origin and Etymology of balsa
First Known Use: circa 1600See Words from the same year
BALSA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of balsa for English Language Learners
: the very light wood of a tropical American tree
BALSA Defined for Kids
Definition of balsa for Students
: the very light but strong wood of a tropical American tree
Seen and Heard
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