balmy

[bah-mee]

adjective, balm·i·er, balm·i·est.

mild and refreshing; soft; soothing: balmy weather.
having the qualities of balm; aromatic; fragrant: balmy leaves.
producing balm: balmy plants; a balmy shrub.
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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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

(of weather) mild and pleasant
having the qualities of balm; fragrant or soothing
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