Definition of balsam in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbɔːlsəm/
Pronunciation: /ˈbɒlsəm/


1 [mass noun] An aromatic resinous substance, such as balm, exuded by various trees and shrubs and used as a base for certain fragrances and medical preparations: a mixture of olive oil and balsam [count noun]: a hair conditioner with protein and balsams
More example sentences
  • It has a distinctive fragrance with hints of balsam or mint, and is sometimes called mint geranium.
  • All around the two silent watchers on the hill, an immense space spread itself between earth and sky, filled with dusky starlight and a fragrance of balsam and pine-smoke.
  • Look for a shampoo with gentle detergents that won't strip natural hair oils, or a product with conditioning agents like protein or balsam to coat hair strands and seal in moisture.
1.1 [count noun] A tree or shrub which yields balsam.
Example sentences
  • Back in the 1950s and 60s, nearly everyone got a balsam pine tree, and they were always asymmetrical and much sparser than today's trees.
  • Though the original homes of most of the wild balsams are the Old World tropics, not much has been done to cultivate this ornamental plant in the country in new areas.
  • They have diversified into everything from Christmas trees, balsam wreaths and maple syrup to cabin rentals, fishing and hunting excursions, birdseye and curly maple lumber products, and veneer for Popsicle sticks.
2A herbaceous plant cultivated for its helmeted pink or purple flowers.
  • Genus Impatiens, family Balsaminaceae: several species.
Example sentences
  • To one side the River Seven meandered, thick with willow, purple with balsam and white with convolvulus.
  • The Indian balsam plant is an example of the incredible relationship between the pollinator and the plant.
  • The balsam impatiens usually grows as a two- or three-stemmed plant to a height of 2 1/2 feet, with white to dark red flowers tucked into the leaf axils, where they tend to be overshadowed by leaves.


Old English, via Latin from Greek balsamon.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bal¦sam

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