Cam"phor (?), n. [OE. camfere, F. camphre (cf. It. camfara, Sp. camfara, alcanfor, LL. camfora, camphara, NGr. ), fr. Ar. kafur, prob. fr. Skr. karpura.]


A tough, white, aromatic resin, or gum, obtained from different species of the Laurus family, esp. from Cinnamomum camphara (the Laurus camphara of Linnaeus.). Camphor, C10H16O, is volatile and fragrant, and is used in medicine as a diaphoretic, a stimulant, or sedative.


A gum resembing ordinary camphor, obtained from a tree (Dryobalanops camphora) growing in Sumatra and Borneo; -- called also Malay camphor, camphor of Borneo, or borneol. See Borneol.

⇒ The name camphor is also applied to a number of bodies of similar appearance and properties, as cedar camphor, obtained from the red or pencil cedar (Juniperus Virginiana), and peppermint camphor, or menthol, obtained from the oil of peppermint.

Camphor oil Chem., name variously given to certain oil-like products, obtained especially from the camphor tree. -- Camphor tree, a large evergreen tree (Cinnamomum Camphora) with lax, smooth branches and shining triple-nerved lanceolate leaves, probably native in China, but now cultivated in most warm countries. Camphor is collected by a process of steaming the chips of the wood and subliming the product.


© Webster 1913.

Cam"phor (?), v. t.

To impregnate or wash with camphor; to camphorate.




© Webster 1913.