em·​balm | \ im-ˈbä(l)m How to pronounce embalm (audio) , em- \
embalmed; embalming; embalms

Definition of embalm

transitive verb

1 : to treat (a dead body) so as to protect from decay
2 : to fill with sweet odors : perfume
3 : to protect from decay or oblivion : preserve embalm a hero's memory
4 : to fix in a static condition

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Other Words from embalm

embalmer noun
embalmment \ im-​ˈbä(l)m-​mənt How to pronounce embalm (audio) , em-​ \ noun

Examples of embalm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Almereyda, never one to embalm unconventional minds in conventional storytelling, has no interest in a mere recitation of his subject’s accomplishments. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The magnetic ‘Tesla,’ starring a brilliant Ethan Hawke, gives visionary his due," 24 Aug. 2020 Used to embalm and preserve bodies in morgues, some butchers use formalin to keep meat from going off. Julien Chongwang, Quartz Africa, "Poisons are being used to beautify food on sale in African markets," 7 July 2020 None of the bodies had been refrigerated or embalmed. USA TODAY, "Peacock problems, avocado threat, weedy sea dragons: News from around our 50 states," 17 Feb. 2020 At any one time, another few are being embalmed in the preparation room, and half a dozen others sit in what used to be a resting room for families during services. Tik Root, Time, "Three Days in a Detroit Funeral Home Ravaged by the Coronavirus," 1 May 2020 Once in the funeral home’s possession, the body will either be embalmed for burial or moved to cold storage to await cremation. Victor Llorente, Popular Mechanics, "Inside a New York City Funeral Home’s Mission to Keep Bodies Out of Mass Graves," 24 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, embalming fluid can leak into soil and make its way into our groundwater, potentially at hazardous concentrations. Nicole Wetsman, Popular Science, "We need a greener way to die," 23 May 2019 After Lonesome George was embalmed and exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, he was returned to Ecuador and put on display in 2017. Fox News, "Descendants from extinct tortoise species discovered in Galapagos," 5 Feb. 2020 Ed was interred in a Packard from the 1940s, embalmed in the passenger seat. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, "Wreath, Crest, and Gavel," 4 Mar. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for embalm

Middle English embaumen, from Anglo-French enbaumer, enbasmer, from en- + basme balm — more at balm

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Time Traveler for embalm

Time Traveler

The first known use of embalm was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Embalm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embalm. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for embalm


How to pronounce embalm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of embalm

: to treat (a dead body) with special chemicals to keep it from decaying


em·​balm | \ im-ˈbäm How to pronounce embalm (audio) , -ˈbälm \
embalmed; embalming

Kids Definition of embalm

: to treat a dead body so as to preserve it from decay

Other Words from embalm

embalmer noun
em·​balm | \ im-ˈbä(l)m, New England also -ˈbȧm \

Medical Definition of embalm

: to treat (a dead body) so as to protect from decay

Other Words from embalm

embalmer noun
embalmment \ -​ˈbä(l)m-​mənt How to pronounce embalm (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on embalm

Nglish: Translation of embalm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embalm for Arabic Speakers

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