follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

balm

[bahm] /bɑm/
noun
1.
any of various oily, fragrant, resinous substances, often of medicinal value, exuding from certain plants, especially tropical trees of the genus Commiphora.
2.
a plant or tree yielding such a substance.
3.
any aromatic or fragrant ointment.
4.
aromatic fragrance; sweet odor:
the balm of orange blossoms.
5.
any of various aromatic plants of the mint family, especially those of the genus Melissa, as M. officinalis (lemon balm) having ovate lemon-scented leaves used as a seasoning.
6.
anything that heals, soothes, or mitigates pain:
the balm of friendship in troubled times.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English basme, ba(u)me < Anglo-French basme, bal(s)me, ba(u)me; Old French < Latin balsamum balsam; with orthographic l pedantically restored
Related forms
balmlike, adjective
Can be confused
balm, bomb.
Synonyms
3. salve, unguent, lotion, emollient.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for balmlike

balm

/bɑːm/
noun
1.
any of various oily aromatic resinous substances obtained from certain tropical trees and used for healing and soothing See also balsam (sense 1)
2.
any plant yielding such a substance, esp the balm of Gilead
3.
something comforting or soothing soft music is a balm
4.
any aromatic or oily substance used for healing or soothing
5.
Also called lemon balm. an aromatic Eurasian herbaceous plant, Melissa officinalis, having clusters of small fragrant white two-lipped flowers: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
6.
a pleasant odour
Derived Forms
balmlike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French basme, from Latin balsamumbalsam
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for balmlike
balm
early 13c., basme, from O.Fr. basme (Mod.Fr. baume), from L. balsamum, from Gk. balsamon "balsam," from Heb. basam "spice," related to Aram. busma, Arabic basham "balsam, spice, perfume." Spelling refashioned 15c.-16c. on L. model. Sense of "healing or soothing influence" (1540s) is from aromatic preparations from balsam (see balsam). Biblical Balm of Gilead, however, began with Coverdale; the Heb. word there is tsori, which was rendered in Septuagint and Vulgate as "resin" (Gk. rhetine, L. resina).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
balmlike in Medicine

balm (bäm)
n.

  1. An aromatic salve or oil.

  2. A soothing, healing, or comforting agent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
balmlike in the Bible

contracted from Bal'sam, a general name for many oily or resinous substances which flow or trickle from certain trees or plants when an incision is made through the bark. (1.) This word occurs in the Authorized Version (Gen. 37:25; 43:11; Jer. 8:22; 46:11; 51:8; Ezek. 27:17) as the rendering of the Hebrew word _tsori_ or _tseri_, which denotes the gum of a tree growing in Gilead (q.v.), which is very precious. It was celebrated for its medicinal qualities, and was circulated as an article of merchandise by Arab and Phoenician merchants. The shrub so named was highly valued, and was almost peculiar to Palestine. In the time of Josephus it was cultivated in the neighbourhood of Jericho and the Dead Sea. There is an Arab tradition that the tree yielding this balm was brought by the queen of Sheba as a present to Solomon, and that he planted it in his gardens at Jericho. (2.) There is another Hebrew word, _basam_ or _bosem_, from which our word "balsam," as well as the corresponding Greek balsamon, is derived. It is rendered "spice" (Cant. 5:1, 13; 6:2; margin of Revised Version, "balsam;" Ex. 35:28; 1 Kings 10:10), and denotes fragrance in general. _Basam_ also denotes the true balsam-plant, a native of South Arabia (Cant. l.c.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for balm

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for balmlike

16
20
Scrabble Words With Friends