Definition of balm of Gilead in English:
1 [mass noun] A fragrant medicinal resin obtained from certain trees.
- 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 balm of Gilead, 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.
- 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.
Definition of balm of Gilead in:
- US English dictionary