Origin of frankincenseMiddle English from Old French franc encens (in sense “pure, high-grade” incense): see frank and incense
a gum resin obtained from various Arabian and African trees (genus Boswellia) of the bursera family and used in perfumes and as incense; olibanum
An aromatic gum resin obtained from African and Asian trees of the genus Boswellia, used as incense and in perfumes.
Origin of frankincenseMiddle English frank encens from Old French franc encens franc free, pure ; see frank 1. encens incense ; see incense 2.
(countable and uncountable, plural frankincenses)
- A type of incense obtained from the Boswellia thurifera tree.
From Old French franc encens.
- Libanus, for frankincense, occurs only in the Vulgate.
- Bernhard von Breydenbach, 8 Ausonius, Florus and others, arguing, it would seem, from its Hebrew and Greek names, concluded that olibanum came from Mount Lebanon; and Chardin (Voyage en Perse, &c., 1711) makes the statement that the frankincense tree grows in the mountains of Persia, particularly Caramania.
- They also melt frankincense as a depilatory, and smear their hands with a paste into the composition of which frankincense enters, for the purpose of communicating to them an attractive perfume.
- That the African frankincense, called by the Arabs " asli," is of twice the value of the Arabian " luban."
- Punt is identified with the Somali country, now known to be the native country of the trees that yield the bulk of the frankincense of commerce.