Definition of elemi in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈeləmē/


An oleoresin obtained from a tropical tree and used in varnishes, ointments, and aromatherapy.
  • This resin is obtained from several trees in the family Burseraceae, in particular Bursera simaruba (producing American elemi) and Canarium luzanicum (producing Manila elemi).
Example sentences
  • Because of its drying and conserving properties, Elemi was one of the aromatics used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming their dead.
  • Ethyl alcohol is a comparatively poor solvent for elemi, but some perfumers prefer to extract only once with one or two parts of ethyl alcohol.


Mid 16th century: perhaps from Arabic al-lāmī.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: el·e·mi

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.