- Río, Río Balsas.
- a tropical American tree, Ochroma pyramidale (lagopus), of the bombax family, yielding an exceedingly light wood used for life preservers, rafts, toy airplanes, etc.
- a raft made of balsa wood.
- any life raft.
Origin of balsa
Examples from the Web for balsas
The wider and smoother rivers were crossed on 'balsas,' or rafts with sails.The Red True Story Book
Their boats or balsas were looked upon as ingenious contrivances.Notable Voyagers
W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
The sun was as hot as upon the llanos along the river Balsas in Michoacan.On the Mexican Highlands
William Seymour Edwards
It was market day, and the balsas were carrying the peasants homeward.South America Observations and Impressions
We built a fleet of balsas with reeds and blown-out sheepskins, and followed him.The Virgin of the Sun
H. R. Haggard
- a bombacaceous tree, Ochroma lagopus, of tropical America
- Also called: balsawood the very light wood of this tree, used for making rafts, etc
- a light raft
Word Origin and History for balsas
South American tree, 1866, apparently from Spanish balsa "float," originally the name of rafts used on the Pacific coast of Latin America (1777). The wood is very light.