embalm

verb
em·​balm | \ im-ˈbä(l)m , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from embalm

embalmer noun
embalmment \ im-​ˈbä(l)m-​mənt , em-​ \ noun

Examples of embalm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Formaldehyde is used in products ranging from particleboard to disinfectants and embalming fluid. Heidi Vogt, WSJ, "EPA’s Top Leaders Stymied Research Unit, Report Finds," 14 Feb. 2019 Ancient Egyptians started embalming their dead about 1,500 years earlier than archaeologists previously realized, according to chemical analysis of the funerary wrappings of a young man who died in Upper Egypt around 3600 BCE. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient Egyptians had been making mummies longer than anyone thought," 16 Aug. 2018 Of course, those antibacterial embalming agents were just one step in what had, by the New Kingdom, become a very complex 70-day process, with the practical work of embalming interwoven with ritual. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient Egyptians had been making mummies longer than anyone thought," 16 Aug. 2018 In revealing the restoration process, Nouvel has managed to embalm the palazzo’s design past within its present use, and little else is required for the rooms to be, at least visually, luxurious. Noor Brara, Vogue, "With a New Hotel Overlooking Rome’s Ancient Wonders, the Fendi Family Hopes to Bring Creatives to the Eternal City," 28 Nov. 2018 University of York archaeologist Stephen Buckley and his colleagues identified embalming compounds in organic residues from the mummy’s linen wrappings. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient Egyptians had been making mummies longer than anyone thought," 16 Aug. 2018 Researchers weren’t sure if the lung had been embalmed somehow or naturally mummified. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "How a Copper Coin Mummified a Baby’s Hand," 26 May 2018 Eventually, Nectome wants to essentially embalm people with terminal ilnesses while they are sedated, but still alive, then freeze their bodies with brains inside. Andy Rosen, BostonGlobe.com, "Ready to upload your brain to a computer? MIT says not so fast," 6 Apr. 2018 Formalin contains formaldehyde, a colorless chemical that is typically used to embalm the dead. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Woman dies after being given formaldehyde instead of saline," 10 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embalm

Dictionary Entries near embalm

embale

emball

Emballonuridae

embalm

embank

embankment

embar

Statistics for embalm

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embalm

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for embalm

embalm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of embalm

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

embalm

verb
em·​balm | \ im-ˈbäm , -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 \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on embalm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embalm

Spanish Central: Translation of embalm

Nglish: Translation of embalm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embalm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on embalm

What made you want to look up embalm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!