any of various fragrant exudations from certain trees, especially trees of the genus Commiphora, as balm-of-Gilead.: Compare balm (def. 1).
any of certain transparent turpentines, as Canada balsam.
a plant or tree yielding a balsam.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, as I. balsamina, a common garden annual.: Compare balsam family.
any aromatic ointment for ceremonial or medicinal use.
any agency that heals, soothes, or restores: the balsam of understanding and appreciation.
- bal·sa·ma·ceous [bawl-suh-mey-shuhs], /ˌbɔl səˈmeɪ ʃəs/, adjective
- bal·sam·ic [bawl-som-ik, ‐sam‐], /bɔlˈsɒm ɪk, ‐ˈsæm‐/, adjective
- bal·sam·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use balsam in a sentence
On the way down he identifies trees by which needles are best to sleep on: balsam fir is good.Pete Dexter’s Indelible Portrait of Author Norman Maclean | Pete Dexter | March 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Martin balsam and Diane Cilento and all the good people are holed up in a shack at the top of the hill.
balsam boughs were gathered for the bed and some firewood collected; then we went down stream to fish and explore.Muskrat City | Henry Abbott
A vulnerary balsam invented by Guy, of Caliac, once in great repute, but now obsolete.
Its medicinal qualities are intermediate to those of the aromatic turpentines and balsam of tolu.
Castor oil may be detected in the way noticed under balsam of Peru.
Of the nature of balsam, or containing or resembling it; bland, soothing, healing; balmy.
British Dictionary definitions for balsam
any of various fragrant oleoresins, such as balm or tolu, obtained from any of several trees and shrubs and used as a base for medicines and perfumes
any of various similar substances used as medicinal or ceremonial ointments
any of certain aromatic resinous turpentines: See also Canada balsam
any plant yielding balsam
Also called: busy Lizzie any of several balsaminaceous plants of the genus Impatiens, esp I. balsamina, cultivated for its brightly coloured flowers
anything healing or soothing
- balsamic (bɔːlˈsæmɪk), adjective
- balsamy, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for balsam
Any of several aromatic resins that flow from certain plants and that contain considerable amounts of benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, or both, or their esters. Balsams are used in perfumes and medicines.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.