balsam

noun
bal·​sam | \ˈbȯl-səm \

Definition of balsam 

1a : an aromatic and usually oily and resinous substance flowing from various plants especially : any of several resinous substances containing benzoic or cinnamic acid and used especially in medicine

b : a preparation containing resinous substances and having a balsamic odor

2a : a balsam-yielding tree especially : balsam fir

b : impatiens especially : a common garden ornamental (Impatiens balsamina)

Examples of balsam in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What this mix may really commemorate is one boy’s melancholy realization during the rainy spring of 1972 that the past existed and was irretrievable, except with the aid of lilacs, balsam mini- pillows, and Top 40 headcheese. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Every playlist tells a story," 14 June 2018 The fragrance also has notes of calming Peru balsam, which is a sweet resin that the brand says adds depth to the otherwise fresh and herbaceous ingredients. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Mugler’s New Perfume Was Inspired by Gardens and Monks," 8 June 2018 Patients decamped from the cities in the late 1800s to the 1920s to seek a cure in the balsam-scented mountain air. BostonGlobe.com, "Hot Sara is back," 5 Apr. 2018 One merry year, my mother (her daughter-in-law) claimed a bargain balsam as well. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Jacques Kelly: Remembering a festive Cross Street Christmas," 23 Dec. 2017 Launching in September is this sleek bottle, wrapped along the top in a metal Y, with a juice that is a delicate blend of natural notes, from bergamot to fir balsam. Vanity Fair, Vanities, "Men’s Fragrances Fit for any Season," 24 Aug. 2017 For all their initial intensity, the wines soften after 10 years of aging, revealing a graceful complexity, with savory kaleidoscopic flavors: herbal, balsam and saline. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "Colares, Where the Vineyards Snake Through the Sand," 3 Aug. 2017 The findings were that trees already at the southern end of their range will do poorly — including balsam fir, aspen, white spruce and tamarack. John Myers, Twin Cities, "Many northern forest species threatened by climate change, study finds," 11 Mar. 2017 After the evening meal, eat lettuce, drink wine, and rub an ointment made of the oil of violets or camphor on the temples. Dissolve a mixture of poppy seeds, lettuce seeds, balsam, saffron, and sugar and cook it in poppy juice. Jessica Brown, CNN, "Busy brain not letting you sleep? 8 experts offer tips," 15 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balsam.' 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 balsam

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for balsam

Latin balsamum, from Greek balsamon, probably of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew bāshām balsam

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Time Traveler for balsam

The first known use of balsam was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for balsam

balsam

noun

English Language Learners Definition of balsam

: an oily substance with a pleasant smell that comes from different kinds of plants

balsam

noun
bal·​sam | \ˈbȯl-səm \

Kids Definition of balsam

1 : a material with a strong pleasant smell that oozes from some plants

2 : a fir tree that yields balsam

balsam

noun
bal·​sam | \ˈbȯl-səm \

Medical Definition of balsam 

1a : an aromatic and usually oily and resinous substance flowing from various plants especially : any of several resinous substances containing benzoic or cinnamic acid and used especially in medicine

b : a preparation containing resinous substances and having a balsamic odor

2 : a balsam-yielding tree

Other Words from balsam

balsamic \ bȯl-​ˈsam-​ik \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on balsam

Spanish Central: Translation of balsam

Nglish: Translation of balsam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about balsam

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