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balsam fir

noun
1.
a North American fir, Abies balsamea, having dark purplish cones and yielding Canada balsam.
2.
the wood of this tree.
3.
any of certain other firs.
Origin of balsam fir
1795-1805
1795-1805, Americanism

balsam of fir

noun

Canada balsam

noun
1.
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, Abies balsamea, and used chiefly for mounting objects on microscope slides, in the manufacture of fine lacquers, and as a cement for lenses.
Also called Canada turpentine, balsam of fir.
Origin
1810-20, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for balsam fir
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The balsam fir and the silver spruce are the evergreen poems of the wild.

    Wild Life on the Rockies Enos A. Mills
  • When grown in the open, the crown is pyramidal, like that of balsam fir.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • The balsam fir is generally found in company with the alders or the silver spruce near a brook.

    Wild Life on the Rockies Enos A. Mills
  • In that respect they resemble leaves of balsam fir and hemlock.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • The list of names and the locality of their use indicate fairly well the geographical range of balsam fir.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • This fir differs from balsam fir in its choice of situation.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • The leaves of balsam fir are from one-half to one and one-fourth inches long.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • The odor of the balsam fir is drawn out and spread far by the heat.

    Minstrel Weather Marian Storm
  • That is lighter than balsam fir, which is classed among the very light woods.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
British Dictionary definitions for balsam fir

balsam fir

noun
1.
a fir tree, Abies balsamea, of NE North America, that yields Canada balsam Also called balsam, Canada balsam. See also balm of Gilead

Canada balsam

noun
1.
a yellow transparent resin obtained from the balsam fir. Because its refractive index is similar to that of glass, it is used as an adhesive in optical devices and as a mounting medium for microscope specimens
2.
another name for balsam fir
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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