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[bawl-der] /ˈbɔl dər/
noun, Scandinavian Mythology.
a god, a son of Odin and Frigg and the twin brother of Hod, by whom he was killed.
Origin of Balder
< Old Norse Baldr, cognate with Old English bealdor prince, lord; perhaps akin to Old Norse baldr brave


[bawld] /bɔld/
having little or no hair on the scalp:
a bald head; a bald person.
destitute of some natural growth or covering:
a bald mountain.
lacking detail; bare; plain; unadorned:
a bald prose style.
open; undisguised:
a bald lie.
Zoology. having white on the head:
the bald eagle.
Automotive. (of a tire) having the tread completely worn away.
verb (used without object)
to become bald.
(often initial capital letter) Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. a treeless mountaintop or area near the top: often used as part of a proper name.
1250-1300; Middle English ball(e)d, equivalent to ball white spot (compare Welsh bal, Greek phaliós having a white spot) + -ed -ed3
Related forms
baldish, adjective
baldly, adverb
baldness, noun
half-bald, adjective
semibald, adjective
semibaldly, adverb
semibaldness, noun
Can be confused
bald, balled, bawled.
4. bare, barefaced, flagrant, patent, utter, out-and-out, downright, flat-out. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Balder
Historical Examples
  • But what I was saying—there's no one else but my mother and sister, and my brother Balder.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Even Balder made remarks which seemed to be regarded as apposite.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • If there ever was a man who was made for a soldier, it's Balder.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Plowden says my brother Balder kills all the birds off every season.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • But they answered that they came not for gibes but for tears, that Balder might be saved.

    Told by the Northmen: E. M. [Ethel Mary] Wilmot-Buxton
  • I'm still the same Eddie—richer, Balder, foolisher, perhaps.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • Shall he worship Thor again, and mourn over the death of Balder?

    Ariadne Florentina John Ruskin
  • But when Loki beheld the scene he was sorely vexed that Balder was not hurt.

  • When Balder saw it, he declared that nothing could be more to his taste.

  • And then Balder disappeared in clouds of smoke, and I heard and saw no more.

British Dictionary definitions for Balder


(Norse myth) a god, son of Odin and Frigg, noted for his beauty and sweet nature. He was killed by a bough of mistletoe thrown by the blind god Höd, misled by the malicious Loki


having no hair or fur, esp (of a man) having no hair on all or most of the scalp
lacking natural growth or covering
plain or blunt: a bald statement
bare or simple; unadorned
Also baldfaced. (of certain birds and other animals) having white markings on the head and face
(of a tyre) having a worn tread
Derived Forms
baldish, adjective
baldly, adverb
baldness, noun
Word Origin
C14 ballede (literally: having a white spot); related to Danish bǣldet, Greek phalaros having a white spot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Balder



c.1300, ballede, probably, with Middle English -ede adjectival suffix + Celtic bal "white patch, blaze" especially on the head of a horse or other animal (from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, gleam;" see bleach (v.)). Cf., from the same root, Sanskrit bhalam "brightness, forehead," Greek phalos "white," Latin fulcia "coot" (so called for the white patch on its head), Albanian bale "forehead." But connection with ball (n.1), on notion of "smooth, round" also has been suggested. Bald eagle first attested 1680s; so called for its white head.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Balder in Medicine

bald (bôld)
adj. bald·er, bald·est
Lacking hair on the head.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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