Balm (?), n. [OE. baume, OF. bausme, basme, F. baume, L. balsamum balsam, from Gr. ; perhaps of Semitic origin; cf. Heb. basam. Cf. Balsam.]

1. Bot.

An aromatic plant of the genus Melissa.


The resinous and aromatic exudation of certain trees or shrubs.



Any fragrant ointment.



Anything that heals or that mitigates pain.

"Balm for each ill."

Mrs. Hemans.

Balm cricket Zool., the European cicada. Tennyson. -- Balm of Gilead Bot., a small evergreen African and Asiatic tree of the terebinthine family (Balsamodendron Gileadense). Its leaves yield, when bruised, a strong aromatic scent; and from this tree is obtained the balm of Gilead of the shops, or balsam of Mecca. This has a yellowish or greenish color, a warm, bitterish, aromatic taste, and a fragrant smell. It is valued as an unguent and cosmetic by the Turks. The fragrant herb Dracocephalum Canariense is familiarly called balm of Gilead, and so are the American trees, Populus balsamifera, variety candicans (balsam poplar), and Abies balsamea (balsam fir).


© Webster 1913.

Balm, v. i.

To anoint with balm, or with anything medicinal. Hence: To soothe; to mitigate.




© Webster 1913.