balmy

[bah-mee]
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adjective, balm·i·er, balm·i·est.
  1. mild and refreshing; soft; soothing: balmy weather.
  2. having the qualities of balm; aromatic; fragrant: balmy leaves.
  3. producing balm: balmy plants; a balmy shrub.
  4. Informal. crazy; foolish; eccentric.

Origin of balmy

First recorded in 1490–1500; balm + -y1
Related formsbalm·i·ly, adverbbalm·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for balmy

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for balminess

Historical Examples of balminess

  • The day was lovely and the air had almost the balminess of spring.

    Through Scandinavia to Moscow

    William Seymour Edwards

  • And I remember that she brought in with her some of the sunlight and balminess of the spring day.

  • The air that morning had softened to a balminess like spring.

    The Hidden Places

    Bertrand W. Sinclair

  • The balminess of the still September night made them reluctant to go indoors.

  • In the sunny clime of North Carolina May comes with all the balminess and soft zephyrs of a more northern summer.

    Daniel Boone

    John S. C. Abbott


British Dictionary definitions for balminess

balmy

adjective balmier or balmiest
  1. (of weather) mild and pleasant
  2. having the qualities of balm; fragrant or soothing
  3. a variant spelling of barmy
Derived Formsbalmily, adverbbalminess, noun
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

Word Origin and History for balminess

balmy

adj.

c.1500, "delicately fragrant," from balm + -y (2). Figurative use for "soothing" dates from c.1600; of breezes, air, etc. "mild, fragrant" (combining both earlier senses) it is first attested 1704. Meaning "weak-minded, idiotic," 1851, is from London slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper