pomander

noun
po·​man·​der | \ ˈpō-ˌman-dər How to pronounce pomander (audio) , pō-ˈman- \

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

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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.

Examples of pomander in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wealthy women carried a pomander on a chain, then an expensive fashion accessory. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 19 Mar. 2021 Stud a fresh orange with cloves for pomander balls that fill the house with a spicy-sweet scent, then upcycle leftover glass jars into a colorful Kwanzaa kinara. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 19 Nov. 2020 Think of drinking red wine that has marinated a pomander orange. Dave Mcintyre, chicagotribune.com, 26 Dec. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pomander

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

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The first known use of pomander was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pomander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pomander. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pomander

pomander

noun
po·​man·​der | \ ˈpō-ˌman-dər, pō-ˈ How to pronounce pomander (audio) \

Medical Definition of pomander

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on pomander

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pomander

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