any of various fragrant exudations from certain trees, especially trees of the genus Commiphora, as balm-of-Gilead.
Compare balm (def 1).
the similar products yielded by the leguminous trees Myroxylon pereirae and M. balsamum, of South America.
Compare Peru balsam, tolu.
oleoresin (def 1).
any of certain transparent turpentines, as Canada balsam.
a plant or tree yielding a balsam.
balsam fir.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, as I. balsamina, a common garden annual.
Compare balsam family.
any aromatic ointment for ceremonial or medicinal use.
any agency that heals, soothes, or restores:
the balsam of understanding and appreciation.
Contemporary Examples

On the way down he identifies trees by which needles are best to sleep on: balsam fir is good.
Pete Dexter’s Indelible Portrait of Author Norman Maclean Pete Dexter March 22, 2014

Historical Examples

Sickness, thou mayest intrude, but I have a balsam ready—God has chosen me.
Thoughts for the Quiet Hour Various

When the heart is sick and sorest, There is balsam in the forest–– There is balsam in the forestFor its pain.
Irish Fairy Tales Edmond Leamy

On the spot where he died he encamped; and caused the body to be embalmed with balsam, myrrh, and aloes.
Mediaeval Tales Various

balsam Peru is a healing balm for burns of this classification.
The Mother and Her Child William S. Sadler

Turpentine of Canada, called Canada balsam, is extracted from the Pinus canadensis and balsamea.
A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines Andrew Ure

The genius of Jewish history has the balsam of consolation to offer.
Jewish Literature and Other Essays Gustav Karpeles

His palm, sticky with balsam gum, quivered in Quintana’s grasp.
The Flaming Jewel Robert W. Chambers

Or the plug may be dipped in Friar’s balsam, or tincture of Kino.
One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed C. A. Bogardus

The wind is lighter and you know what Fred said about the Spruce probably doing better than the balsam in a light breeze.
The Go Ahead Boys in the Island Camp Ross Kay

any of various fragrant oleoresins, such as balm or tolu, obtained from any of several trees and shrubs and used as a base for medicines and perfumes
any of various similar substances used as medicinal or ceremonial ointments
any of certain aromatic resinous turpentines See also Canada balsam
any plant yielding balsam
Also called busy Lizzie. any of several balsaminaceous plants of the genus Impatiens, esp I. balsamina, cultivated for its brightly coloured flowers
anything healing or soothing

1570s, “aromatic resin used for healing wounds and soothing pains,” from Latin balsamum “gum of the balsam tree” (see balm). There is an isolated Old English reference from c.1000, and Middle English used basme, baume, from the French form of the word. As a type of flowering plant of the Impatiens family, it is attested from 1741.
Any of several aromatic resins that flow from certain plants and that contain considerable amounts of benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, or both, or their esters. Balsams are used in perfumes and medicines.


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    a climbing Old World tropical vine, Momordica balsamina, of the gourd family. the orange, ovoid, warty fruit of this vine. Historical Examples The garden balsam is an annual plant, Impatiens balsamina, and the balsam apple is the fruit of Momordica balsamina, nat. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 Various noun an […]

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  • Balsam family

    the plant family Balsaminaceae, typified by succulent stems, alternate, opposite, or whorled simple leaves, and irregular solitary or clustered flowers, including the balsam and jewelweed.

  • Balsam fir

    a North American fir, Abies balsamea, having dark purplish cones and yielding Canada balsam. the wood of this tree. any of certain other firs. Canada balsam. a pale yellow or greenish, slightly fluorescent, clear, viscous, bitter-tasting, water-insoluble liquid, having a pleasant, aromatic, pinelike odor, and solidifying on exposure to air: obtained from the balsam fir, […]

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