- a balsamic resin obtained from certain tropical Asian trees (genus Styrax of the storax family) and used in medicine and perfumery and as incense
- any of a genus (Lindera) of aromatic plants of the laurel family; esp., the spicebush of E North America
- Chem. a white, crystalline substance, CHCHOHCOCH, used in making antiseptic ointments and in respiration inhalants
Origin of benzoinFrench benjoin ; from Italian benzoino ; from Arabic lub?n j?w?, incense of Java: lu- dropped because falsely assumed to be the article
- A balsamic resin obtained from certain tropical Asian trees of the genus Styrax and used in perfumery and medicine. Also called benjamin, gum benjamin, gum benzoin.
- A white or yellowish crystalline compound, C14H12O2, derived from benzaldehyde.
Origin of benzoinEarlier benjoin, from French benjoin and Italian benzoino, both from Arabic luban jaw&imacron;, frankincense of Java; see lbn in Semitic roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural benzoins)
- A resinous substance, dry and brittle, obtained from the Styrax benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, etc., having a fragrant odor, and slightly aromatic taste. It is used in the preparation of benzoic acid, in medicine, and as a perfume. [from 16th c.]
- (organic chemistry) An aromatic hydroxy ketone, 2-hydroxy-1,2-di(phenyl)ethanone, synthesized from benzaldehyde; any derivative of this compound. [from 19th c.]
- (botany) The spicebush, Lindera benzoin. [from 19th c.]