Definition of camphor
: a tough gummy volatile aromatic crystalline compound C10H16O obtained especially from the wood and bark of the camphor tree and used as a liniment and mild topical analgesic in medicine, as a plasticizer, and as an insect repellent; also : any of several similar compounds (such as some terpene alcohols and ketones)
camphoraceousplay \ˌkam(p)-fə-ˈrā-shəs\ adjective
Recent Examples of camphor from the Web
Kelpie finishes long with the aroma of molasses from the initial nosing returning, and with notes of deep-sea kelp, dank moss and camphor.
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.
Weight-loss regimens included consuming soap, chalk, pickles, digitalis, camphor tea, grapefruit (which was thought to contain fat-dissolving enzymes), potassium acetate (a diuretic), and ipecac (which induces vomiting).
The dominant note is filé, ground sassafras leaves, which lends a flavor somewhere between root beer and camphor.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'camphor'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of camphor
Middle English caumfre, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin camphora, from Arabic kāfūr, from Malay kapur
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
CAMPHOR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of camphor for English Language Learners
: a white substance with a strong smell that is used in medicine and to keep insects away
CAMPHOR Defined for Kids
Definition of camphor for Students
: a white fragrant solid that comes from the wood and bark of a tall Asian tree (camphor tree) and is used mostly in medicine, in making plastics, and to repel moths
Medical Definition of camphor
: a tough gummy volatile aromatic crystalline compound C10H16O obtained especially from the wood and bark of the camphor tree and used topically as a liniment and mild analgesic, as a plasticizer, and as an insect repellent; also : any of several similar compounds (as some terpene alcohols and ketones)
camphoric\kam-ˈfȯr-ik, -ˈfär-\play adjective
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