myrrh

[mur]
noun
an aromatic resinous exudation from certain plants of the genus Myrrhis, especially M. odorata, a small spiny tree: used for incense, perfume, etc.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English, Old English myrre < Latin myrrha < Greek mýrraAkkadian murru; akin to Hebrew mōr, Arabic murr

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

myrrh
O.E. myrre, from L. myrrha, from Gk. myrrha, from a Sem. source (cf. Akkadian murru, Heb. mor, Ar. murr "myrrh"), from a root meaning "was bitter."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Myrrh definition


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 Britannica
Encyclopedia

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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