Río, Río Balsas.
a tropical American tree, Ochroma pyramidale (lagopus), of the bombax family, yielding an exceedingly light wood used for life preservers, rafts, toy airplanes, etc.
a raft made of balsa wood.
any life raft.
Historical Examples

The Parnahyba forms the eastern boundary of Maranho, but it has one large tributary, the Balsas, entirely within the state.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 17, Slice 6 Various

The wider and smoother rivers were crossed on ‘Balsas,’ or rafts with sails.
The Red True Story Book Various

At length the Spaniards embarked in twenty Balsas, and came in sight of the native squadron.
The Western World W.H.G. Kingston

Their boats or Balsas were looked upon as ingenious contrivances.
Notable Voyagers W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

It was market day, and the Balsas were carrying the peasants homeward.
South America Observations and Impressions James Bryce

The sun was as hot as upon the llanos along the river Balsas in Michoacan.
On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards

But the Balsas are the most original, and, therefore, the most attractive sight.
The Andes and the Amazon James Orton

We built a fleet of Balsas with reeds and blown-out sheepskins, and followed him.
The Virgin of the Sun H. R. Haggard

Here, were already several pack trains, some from the mines, one going on beyond the Balsas River into Guerrero.
On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards

The rafts, or Balsas, referred to, were made by tying together a large number of reeds.
Original Narratives of Early American History Vaca and Others

a bombacaceous tree, Ochroma lagopus, of tropical America
Also called balsawood. the very light wood of this tree, used for making rafts, etc
a light raft

South American tree, 1866, apparently from Spanish balsa “float,” originally the name of rafts used on the Pacific coast of Latin America (1777). The wood is very light.


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