- any of various oily or gummy aromatic resins obtained from various plants and containing either benzoic or cinnamic acid
- any of various aromatic, resinous oils or fluids
- any aromatic preparation made with balsam, as certain medical dressings
- anything healing or soothing; balm
- any of various plants or trees of various families that yield balsam, as the balsam fir
- any of various species of the impatiens, esp. the garden balsam
Origin of balsamOld English ; from Classical Latin balsamum: see balm
designating a family (Balsaminaceae, order Geraniales) of dicotyledonous plants, including jewelweed and impatiens
- a. Any of several aromatic resins, such as balsam of Peru and balsam of Tolu, that contain considerable amounts of benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, or both, or their esters.b. Any of several other fragrant plant resins, such as Canada balsam.c. A similar substance, especially a fragrant ointment used as medication; a balm.
- Any of various trees, especially the balsam fir, yielding an aromatic resinous substance.
- See impatiens.
Origin of balsamLatin balsamum, from Greek balsamon, of Semitic origin; see bśm in Semitic roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural balsams)
- A sweet-smelling oil or resin derived from various plants.
- A plant or tree yielding such substance.
- A soothing ointment.
- (figuratively) Something soothing.
- Classical music is a sweet balsam for our sorrows
- A flowering plant of the genus Impatiens.
- A balsam fir.
- Canada balsam, a turpentine obtained from the resin of balsam fir.
(third-person singular simple present balsams, present participle balsaming, simple past and past participle balsamed)