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myrrh

[mur] /mɜr/
noun
1.
an aromatic resinous exudation from certain plants of the genus Myrrhis, especially M. odorata, a small spiny tree: used for incense, perfume, etc.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English myrre < Latin myrrha < Greek mýrraAkkadian murru; akin to Hebrew mōr, Arabic murr
Related forms
myrrhed, adjective
myrrhic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for myrrh
  • Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
  • Then they fill the belly with myrrh and sew it together again.
  • Aromatic woods-frankincense and myrrh-from a small and diminishing forest also contribute to the country's exports.
British Dictionary definitions for myrrh

myrrh

/mɜː/
noun
1.
any of several burseraceous trees and shrubs of the African and S Asian genus Commiphora, esp C. myrrha, that exude an aromatic resin Compare balm of Gilead (sense 1)
2.
the resin obtained from such a plant, used in perfume, incense, and medicine
3.
another name for sweet cicely (sense 1)
Word Origin
Old English myrre, via Latin from Greek murrha, ultimately from Akkadian murrū; compare Hebrew mōr, Arabic murr
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 myrrh
n.

Old English myrre, from Latin myrrha (also source of Dutch mirre, German Myrrhe, French myrrhe, Italian, Spanish mirra), from Greek myrrha, from a Semitic source (cf. Akkadian murru, Hebrew mor, Arabic murr "myrrh"), from a root meaning "was bitter."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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myrrh in the Bible

Heb. mor. (1.) First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:23). It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:11). It was used in embalming (John 19:39), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17). It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion "wine mingled with myrrh" to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus "he received it not" (Mark 15:23). (See GALL.) This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists. The "bundle of myrrh" in Cant. 1:13 is rather a "bag" of myrrh or a scent-bag. (2.) Another word _lot_ is also translated "myrrh" (Gen. 37:25; 43:11; R.V., marg., "or ladanum"). What was meant by this word is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich, stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for myrrh

(from Arabic murr, "bitter"), bitter-tasting, agreeably aromatic, yellow to reddish brown oleoresinous gum obtained from various small, thorny, flowering trees of the genus Commiphora, of the incense-tree family (Burseraceae). The two main varieties of myrrh are herabol and bisabol. Herabol myrrh is obtained from C. myrrha, which grows in Ethiopia, Arabia, and Somalia, while bisabol myrrh is obtained from C. erythraea, which is an Arabian species of similar appearance. Myrrh trees are found on parched rocky hills and grow up to 3 m (9 feet) tall.

Learn more about myrrh with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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13
12
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