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balsam

[bawl-suh m] /ˈbɔl səm/
noun
1.
any of various fragrant exudations from certain trees, especially trees of the genus Commiphora, as balm-of-Gilead.
Compare balm (def 1).
2.
the similar products yielded by the leguminous trees Myroxylon pereirae and M. balsamum, of South America.
Compare Peru balsam, tolu.
3.
oleoresin (def 1).
4.
any of certain transparent turpentines, as Canada balsam.
5.
a plant or tree yielding a balsam.
7.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, as I. balsamina, a common garden annual.
Compare balsam family.
8.
any aromatic ointment for ceremonial or medicinal use.
9.
any agency that heals, soothes, or restores:
the balsam of understanding and appreciation.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English balsamum, balsaum, Old English balzaman < Latin balsamum < Greek bálsamon. See balm
Related forms
balsamaceous
[bawl-suh-mey-shuh s] /ˌbɔl səˈmeɪ ʃəs/ (Show IPA),
adjective
balsamic
[bawl-sam-ik] /bɔlˈsæm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
balsamy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for balsamic
  • Some or all of the cider vinegar can be replaced by balsamic if you prefer.
  • When it comes to vinegar, balsamic gets all the attention.
  • He doesn't gush about balsamic reductions or rarefied vintages.
  • Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add your favorite dressing or a simple vinaigrette of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Up the flavor ante with an optional drizzle of tangy balsamic syrup and a handful of blue cheese crumbles.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired.
  • Entree choices include steak and shrimp scampi, honey-balsamic glazed salmon or grilled steak.
  • Whisk in olive oil, thyme, basil and touch of balsamic vinegar.
  • It's the same quality and flavor profile as balsamic vinegar and costs one-fifth as much.
British Dictionary definitions for balsamic

balsam

/ˈbɔːlsəm/
noun
1.
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
2.
any of various similar substances used as medicinal or ceremonial ointments
3.
any of certain aromatic resinous turpentines See also Canada balsam
4.
any plant yielding balsam
5.
Also called busy Lizzie. any of several balsaminaceous plants of the genus Impatiens, esp I. balsamina, cultivated for its brightly coloured flowers
6.
anything healing or soothing
Derived Forms
balsamic (bɔːlˈsæmɪk) adjective
balsamy, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin balsamum, from Greek balsamon, from Hebrew bāśām spice
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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Word Origin and History for balsamic
adj.

c.1600, from balsam + -ic.

balsam

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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balsamic in Science
balsam
  (bôl'səm)   
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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14
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