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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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for 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 balmy

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