[ ben-zoh-in, -zoin, ben-zoh-in ]
/ ˈbɛn zoʊ ɪn, -zɔɪn, bɛnˈzoʊ ɪn /


Also called gum benjamin, gum benzoin. a reddish-brown, aromatic balsamic resin occurring in almondlike fragments and having a vanillalike odor, obtained from trees of the genus Styrax, especially S. benzoin, of Java, Sumatra, etc.: used in the manufacture of perfume and cosmetics and in medicine internally as an expectorant and externally as an antiseptic.
Also called benjamin, benjamin-bush. any plant belonging to the genus Lindera (Benzoin), of the laurel family, including the spicebush and similar aromatic plants.

Origin of benzoin

1550–60; earlier benjoin < Middle French < Portuguese beijoim and Spanish benjuí < Arabic lubān jāwī frankincense of Java (lu- probably constructed as the definite article); z of benzoin < Italian benzoiArabic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for gum-benjamin


/ (ˈbɛnzɔɪn, -zəʊɪn, bɛnˈzəʊɪn) /


Also called: benjamin a gum resin containing benzoic acid, obtained from various trees of the genus Styrax, esp S. benzoin of Java and Sumatra, and used in ointments, perfume, etc
a white or yellowish crystalline compound with a camphor-like odour used as an antiseptic and flavouring; 2-hydroxy-2-phenylacetophenone. Formula: C 6 H 5 CHOHCOC 6 H 5
any lauraceous aromatic shrub or tree of the genus Lindera, esp L. benzoin (spicebush)

Word Origin for benzoin

C16: from French benjoin, from Old Catalan benjui, from Arabic lubān jāwī, literally: frankincense of Java
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

Science definitions for gum-benjamin


[ bĕnzō-ĭn, -zoin′ ]

A resin obtained from the bark of certain tropical Asian trees of the genus Styrax and used in making perfumes and in medicine as an antiseptic.
A very toxic white or yellowish crystalline compound derived from benzaldehyde. It oxidizes easily and is used as a reducing agent. Chemical formula: C14H12O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.