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See more synonyms for embalm on Thesaurus.com
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 for embalmer

embalmer, mortician, undertaker

Examples from the Web for embalmer

Historical Examples of embalmer

  • 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

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

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

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

  • You open the corpses, you go in and out of the house of the embalmer.

    Uarda, Complete

    Georg Ebers

British Dictionary definitions for embalmer


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 for embalm

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



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


  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.