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mild and refreshing; soft; soothing:
balmy weather.
having the qualities of balm; aromatic; fragrant:
balmy leaves.
producing balm:
balmy plants; a balmy shrub.
Informal. crazy; foolish; eccentric.
Contemporary Examples

The surprisingly boring movie Contagion, has arrived, signaling the end of balmy youth for the field of infectious diseases.
The Distorted Science of Contagion Kent Sepkowitz September 22, 2011

David Ignatius calls for a revival of cream-colored linen and balmy pinfeather.
Long Live the Seersucker David Ignatius July 17, 2009

Eleanor Roosevelt addressed the record crowd on a balmy Southern California afternoon.
‘Tricky Dick’ vs. the Pink Lady Sally Denton November 15, 2009

I got into my car and just sat there in the balmy London night replaying the events of the day in my mind.
When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More Gary Wright September 28, 2014

During a balmy summer, few things provide immediate enjoyment like a chilled glass of rosé.
Summer in a Glass: Everything’s Coming Up Rosés Jordan Salcito June 6, 2014

Historical Examples

The afternoon happened to be a perfect one; the air was balmy, with a touch of the Indian summer about it.
Light O’ The Morning L. T. Meade

The night wind was balmy, and there was a fragrance of cedar in its breath.
A Little Book of Profitable Tales Eugene Field

What a balmy serenity hovers around them—basking in the sunlight of undisturbed tranquillity.
Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 Various

He thought that a balmy dew was falling on his poor wounded heart.
The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Emile Zola

A low-hanging, golden moon, a lake that was ripply but not too rough, and balmy night air—who could ask for more?
The Firebug Roy J. Snell

adjective balmier, balmiest
(of weather) mild and pleasant
having the qualities of balm; fragrant or soothing
a variant spelling of barmy

c.1500, “delicately fragrant,” from balm + -y (2). Figurative use for “soothing” dates from c.1600; of breezes, air, etc. “mild, fragrant” (combining both earlier senses) it is first attested 1704. Meaning “weak-minded, idiotic,” 1851, is from London slang.


Intoxicated with alcohol


Crazy; insane

Related Terms



Mildly crazy; cracked: One of your balmier notions

[first form chiefly British 1600+, second 1800s+; fr barm, ”froth on fermenting beer,” hence ”flighty, ditsy”; fell in with balmy, said to be fr St Bartelemy, the patron of mad folk, perhaps because the words are homophones in British English]


Read Also:

  • Balminess

    mild and refreshing; soft; soothing: balmy weather. having the qualities of balm; aromatic; fragrant: balmy leaves. producing balm: balmy plants; a balmy shrub. Informal. crazy; foolish; eccentric. Historical Examples In this tranquil town, almost voluptuous in its richness of colour and balminess of atmosphere, you lose yourself in laziness. Brittany Mortimer Menpes and Dorothy Menpes […]

  • Balmung

    (in the Nibelungenlied) a sword seized from the Nibelungs by Siegfried. Historical Examples He should have the good sword Balmung as reward, they cried. Stories of Siegfried Mary MacGregor He thrust Balmung, his wonderful sword, deep into the monster’s body. Our Little German Cousin Mary Hazelton Wade If his war-coat can withstand the stroke of […]

  • Balneal

    of or relating to baths or bathing. adjective (rare) of or relating to baths or bathing adj. “pertaining to baths,” from Latin balneum “bath,” from Greek balaneion, of unknown origin.

  • Balneology

    the science dealing with the therapeutic effects of baths and bathing. Historical Examples balneology, bal-ne-ol′o-ji, n. the scientific study of bathing and of mineral springs. Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D) Various noun the branch of medical science concerned with the therapeutic value of baths, esp those taken with natural mineral waters

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