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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

Related Words

embalmermorticianundertaker

Examples from the Web for embalmer

Historical Examples

  • The action of the air had already undone all the art of the embalmer.

    The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • A few minutes later the embalmer entered bringing them food.

  • I have already placed in the hands of Chigron, the embalmer, a large sum of money.

  • “I think, indeed, that that will be the best plan,” the embalmer agreed.

  • "He has gone to his work in the house of the embalmer," was the answer.

    Uarda, Complete

    Georg Ebers


British Dictionary definitions for embalmer

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 embalmer

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

embalmer 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.