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Canada balsam

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noun
  1. a pale yellow or greenish, slightly fluorescent, clear, viscous, bitter-tasting, water-insoluble liquid, having a pleasant, aromatic, pinelike odor, and solidifying on exposure to air: obtained from the balsam fir, Abies balsamea, and used chiefly for mounting objects on microscope slides, in the manufacture of fine lacquers, and as a cement for lenses.

Origin of Canada balsam

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20
Also called Canada turpentine, balsam of fir.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for balsam fir

Historical Examples

  • If this consists of glass, Canada-balsam or marine glue is best.

    An Elementary Text-book of the Microscope

    John William Griffith


British Dictionary definitions for balsam fir

Canada balsam

noun
  1. a yellow transparent resin obtained from the balsam fir. Because its refractive index is similar to that of glass, it is used as an adhesive in optical devices and as a mounting medium for microscope specimens
  2. another name for balsam fir
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