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balsam

balsam (bôl´səm), fragrant resin obtained from various trees. The true balsams are semisolid and insoluble in water, but they are soluble in alcohol and partly so in hydrocarbons. They contain benzoic or cinnamic acid; these include Peru balsam and tolu balsam (both obtained from varieties of the South American tree Myroxylon balsamum of the pulse family), benzoin, and storax. Other resins called balsams include Mecca balsam (balm of Gilead), Canada balsam, and copaiba. Balsams are often used in medical preparations and perfumes.

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balsam

bal·sam / ˈbôlsəm/ • n. 1. 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 tree or shrub that yields balsam. 2. a herbaceous plant (genus Impatiens, family Balsaminaceae) cultivated for its flowers, which are typically pink or purple and carried high on the stem. DERIVATIVES: bal·sam·ic / bôlˈsamik/ adj.

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balsam

balsam Aromatic resin obtained from plants; or healing preparations, especially those with benzoic and cinnamic acid added to the resin; or balsam-yielding trees, such as the balsam fir and balsam poplar. The name is also given to numerous species of the family Balsaminaceae that are plants of moist areas, with pendent flowers. See also impatiens

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balsam

balsam (bawl-săm) n. an aromatic resinous substance of plant origin. b. of Peru a South American balsam used in skin preparations as a mild antiseptic. See friar's balsam.

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balsam

balsam XV. — L. balsamum — Gr. bálsamon, perh. of Sem. orig. Cf. BALM.

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balsam

balsamhansom, ransom, Ransome, transom •Wrexham • sensum • Epsom • jetsam •lissom • winsome • gypsum • alyssum •blossom, opossum, possum •flotsam • awesome • balsam • Folsom •noisome • twosome •fulsome • buxom • Hilversum •irksome • Gresham • meerschaum •petersham • nasturtium •atom, Euratom •factum •bantam, phantom •sanctum •desideratum, erratum, post-partum, stratum •substratum • rectum • momentum •septum •datum, petrolatum, pomatum, Tatum, ultimatum •arboretum • dictum • symptom •ad infinitum •bottom, rock-bottom •quantum •autumn, postmortem •factotum, Gotham, scrotum, teetotum, totem •sputum •accustom, custom •diatom • anthem • Bentham • Botham •fathom • rhythm • biorhythm •algorithm • logarithm • sempervivum •ovum • William

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