Definition of balm of Gilead in English:

balm of Gilead

Syllabification: balm of Gil·e·ad
Pronunciation: /ˌbä(l)m əv ˈgilēəd


  • 1A fragrant medicinal resin obtained from certain kinds of tree.
    More example sentences
    • We've got Vietnamese coriander, for example, and balm of Gilead, which is not normally used in cooking but has a fantastic smell.
    • He holds it out in his hand to me as if he is offering the balm of Gilead or all the riches of Babylon or something precious and extravagant like that.
    • This balm of Gilead has a wonderful fragrance.
  • 2A tree that yields a fragrant medicinal resin, in particular.
    • an Arabian tree traditionally of importance in medicine and perfumery (Commiphora gileadensis, family Burseraceae).either of two poplars with sticky aromatic buds (Populus × gileadensis (or candicans) and the balsam poplar, family Salicaceae).the balsam fir.
    More example sentences
    • The air is full of birds, and sweet with the breath of the pine, the balm of Gilead, and the new hay.
    • The balm-of-Gilead tree, which has mostly escaped from cultivation, is found along roadsides or streams from Newfoundland to Minnesota and Georgia.
    • The Balm-of-Gilead has heart-shaped leaves with rounded, slightly hairy leaf stalks.


early 16th century: balm from a translation in Coverdale's Bible (Gen. 37:25), rendered 'resin' in the Vulgate; Gilead from the assumption that this resin is the substance mentioned in the Bible as coming from Gilead.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody