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[frang-kin-sens] /ˈfræŋ kɪnˌsɛns/
an aromatic gum resin from various Asian and African trees of the genus Boswellia, especially B. carteri, used chiefly for burning as incense in religious or ceremonial practices, in perfumery, and in pharmaceutical and fumigating preparations.
Also called olibanum.
Origin of frankincense
First recorded in 1350-1400, frankincense is from the Middle English word fraunk encense. See frank1, incense1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for frankincense


an aromatic gum resin obtained from trees of the burseraceous genus Boswellia, which occur in Asia and Africa Also called olibanum
Word Origin
C14: from Old French franc free, pure + encens incense1; see frank
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 frankincense

late 14c., apparently from Old French franc encense, from franc "noble, true" (see frank (adj.)), in this case probably signifying "of the highest quality" + encens "incense" (see incense (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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