Definition of balm in English:


Line breaks: balm
Pronunciation: /bɑːm


  • 2A tree which yields a fragrant resinous substance, especially one used in medicine.
    • Species in several families, in particular those of the genus Commiphora (family Burseraceae).
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    • A typical nest thus pointed out by an over-obliging bird was saddled neatly on a horizontal limb of a balm tree at the height of about 30 feet from the ground and the ever-present lake.
    • The balm tree is no longer found in Judea.
    • Now this did not one jot move the orange till she saw a man at work with an incision-knife, upon a balm-tree there at hand, to let out the balsam.
  • 2.1 [mass noun] The resinous substance yielded by a balm.
    More example sentences
    • The balm exuded by this shrub led to it being regarded throughout part of its native range (especially in Spain, Italy, & Greece) as one & the same with the biblical Balm of Gilead.
  • 3 (also lemon or sweet balm) [mass noun] A bushy herb of the mint family, with leaves smelling and tasting of lemon.
    • Melissa officinalis, family Labiatae
    More example sentences
    • Growing my own fresh herbs saves me easily $35-50 per year… I grow my own oregano, basil, lemon balm, lemon thyme, chives, sage, and cilantro.
    • The consensus is that they tend to avoid aromatic herbs including garlic, onions, chives, rosemary, lavender, lemon balm, mint, tansy, lovage, marjoram, thyme, sage and fennel.
    • My favorite herbs to grow are basil, oregano, lemon balm, parsley and mint.
  • 3.1Used in names of other aromatic herbs of the mint family, e.g. bee balm.
    More example sentences
    • I almost passed over her, cloaked in an old brown robe and deep in conversation with a toothless old peasant woman selling various herbs and balms.
    • The apothecary, Harold, was robbed of some herbs and balms, as I am sure you know.
    • I purchased my bee balm from flea and farmer's markets.


Middle English (in the sense 'preparation for embalming, fragrant resinous substance'): from Old French basme, from Latin balsamum (see balsam).

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