pomander

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noun po·man·der \ˈpō-ˌman-dər, pō-ˈ\

Definition of pomander

  1. 1 :  a mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a perforated bag or box and used to scent clothes and linens or formerly carried as a guard against infection; also :  a clove-studded orange or apple used for the same purposes

  2. 2 :  a box or hollow fruit-shaped ball for holding pomander

pomander was our Word of the Day on 12/10/2012. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

In earlier times, there was more at stake in the use of an "apple of amber" (the literal meaning of Anglo-French pomme de ambre, modified to "pomander" in Middle English) than the addition of holiday spirit. Pomanders were used to offset foul odors and were also believed to protect against disease. Early pomanders were usually mixtures of fragrant spices, herbs, etc. in small metal containers, and they were often worn on chains, as jewelry, around the neck or at the waist. Today, we no longer believe pomanders ward off infections, but we still like nice-smelling things, and the word pomander survives to name the modern version of this aromatic, decorative object.

Origin and Etymology of pomander

Middle English, modification of Anglo-French pomme de ambre, literally, apple or ball of amber


First Known Use: 15th century


Medical Dictionary

pomander

play
noun po·man·der \ˈpō-ˌman-dər, pō-ˈ\

Medical Definition of pomander

  1. :  a mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a perforated bag or box and used to scent clothes and linens or formerly carried as a guard against infection; also :  a clove-studded orange or apple used for the same purposes


Learn More about pomander


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