storax

storax

[stawr-aks, stohr-]
noun
1.
a solid resin with a vanillalike odor, obtained from a small tree, Styrax officinalis: formerly used in medicine and perfumery.
2.
a liquid balsam (liquid storax) obtained from species of liquidambar, especially from the wood and inner bark of Liquidambar orientalis (Levant storax) a tree of Asia Minor: used chiefly in medicine and perfumery.
3.
any shrub or tree of the genus Styrax, of the storax family, having elongated clusters of showy, white flowers.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin, variant of styrax < Greek stýrax

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World English Dictionary
storax (ˈstɔːræks)
 
n
1.  any of numerous styracaceous trees or shrubs of the genus Styrax, of tropical and subtropical regions, having drooping showy white flowers
2.  a vanilla-scented solid resin obtained from one of these trees, Styrax officinalis of the Mediterranean region and SW Asia, formerly used as incense and in perfumery and medicine
3.  a liquid aromatic balsam obtained from liquidambar trees, esp Liquidambar orientalis of SW Asia, and used in perfumery and medicine
 
[C14: via Late Latin from Greek, variant of styrax]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

storax

any of about 120 species of the genus Styrax, shrubs and trees of the family Styracaceae, mostly in tropical or warm regions. The deciduous leaves are alternate and short-stalked. The white flowers, usually borne in pendulous terminal clusters, have a five-lobed corolla (the petals, collectively). Among the best-known cultivated species are S. japonicum (Japanese snowbell), native to East Asia and growing to about 9 metres (30 feet) tall; S. obassia (fragrant snowbell), native to Japan and growing to about 9 metres; S. americana, native to southeastern North America and growing from 1.8 to 2.7 metres (6 to 9 feet); and S. officinalis (snowdrop bush), native to eastern Europe and Asia Minor and growing to about 6 metres (20 feet). A resin known as storax, used in incense, was formerly obtained from S. officinalis.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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