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embalm

[em-bahm]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to treat (a dead body) so as to preserve it, as with chemicals, drugs, or balsams.
  2. to preserve from oblivion; keep in memory: his deeds embalmed in the hearts of his disciples.
  3. to cause to remain unchanged; prevent the development of.
  4. to impart a balmy fragrance to.
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Origin of embalm

1300–50; Middle English embalmen, embaumen < Old French emba(u)smer, equivalent to em- em-1 + -ba(u)smer, verbal derivative of ba(u)sme balm
Related formsem·balm·er, nounem·balm·ment, nounun·em·balmed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for embalm

Historical Examples

  • The persons who embalm the bodies are artists who have learnt this secret from their ancestors.

    Practical Taxidermy

    Montagu Browne

  • For it was his business to notice things, and embalm them afterward in ink.

    The Freelands

    John Galsworthy

  • With delight, it is to be hoped; my poem will embalm your memory for posterity.

  • "But they will require the uninjured corpse of you, to embalm it," said Pentaur.

    Uarda, Complete

    Georg Ebers

  • We treasure a good thing when we hear it, and love to embalm it.


British Dictionary definitions for embalm

embalm

verb (tr)
  1. to treat (a dead body) with preservatives, as by injecting formaldehyde into the blood vessels, to retard putrefaction
  2. to preserve or cherish the memory of
  3. poetic to give a sweet fragrance to
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Derived Formsembalmer, nounembalmment, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French embaumer; see balm
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 embalm

v.

mid-14c., from Middle French embaumer "preserve (a corpse) with spices," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + baume "balm" (see balm) + -er verbal suffix. The -l- inserted in English 1500s in imitation of Latin. Related: Embalmed; embalming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

embalm in Medicine

embalm

(ĕm-bäm)
v.
  1. To treat a corpse with preservatives in order to prevent decay.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.