: a yellowish-brown to reddish-brown aromatic gum resin with a bitter slightly pungent taste obtained from a tree (especially Commiphora abyssinica of the family Burseraceae) of eastern Africa and Arabia
also : a mixture of myrrh and labdanum

Examples of myrrh in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The perfume’s top notes include clementine and golden honey, with base notes of Namibian myrrh and golden amber, and heart notes of rose absolute and jasmine sambac. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 19 July 2023 At heart are rose and jasmine for a floral medley that's deepened by earthy myrrh and amber. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 19 July 2023 Black myrrh and incense add dimension to this candle, as well as woodsy fragrance like cedar, guaiac wood, and palo santo. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 17 May 2023 The warm, sensual aromas include sandalwood, cinnamon, cedar, vanilla, and myrrh. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 Two of those were frankincense and myrrh, which many Westerners will recognize as gifts brought to the infant Jesus in the Christian Bible. Lilit Marcus, CNN, 16 May 2023 Other notes include Lebanese Neroli and Italian Mandarin, as well as amber and balsam tones of myrrh and benzoin and vanilla and musk notes. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023 Costa Brazil’s Aroma mimics Amazonian resin with clearwood, myrrh and patchouli; Régime des Fleurs Tears is a woody incense undercut by the freshness of green cognac oil; and subscription-only brand Ffern’s latest takes a lush rose attar in a new and spicier direction via ho wood. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, 23 June 2022 Many of us want the quintessential old rose fragrance (‘Gertrude Jekyll’ 7.9, ‘Mister Lincoln’ 8.3); others prefer fruity scents (‘Secret’ 8.0, ‘Desdemona’ 8.0) or the more unusual myrrh (‘Julia Child’ 8.3) and musk fragrances (‘Francis E. Lester’ 8.7). Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'myrrh.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English myrre, from Old English, from Latin myrrha, from Greek, of Semitic origin; akin to Arabic murr myrrh

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of myrrh was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near myrrh

Cite this Entry

“Myrrh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a brown slightly bitter gum obtained from African and Arabian trees and used especially in perfumes or formerly in incense

Medical Definition


: a yellowish to reddish brown aromatic bitter gum resin that is obtained from various trees (genus Commiphora) especially of East Africa and Arabia (as C. myrrha or C. abyssinica) and has been used in the manufacture of dentifrices and as a carminative and a stimulating tonic compare bdellium

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