Definition of balm in English:

balm

noun

  • 1A fragrant cream or liquid used to heal or soothe the skin.

    ‘a skin balm for use after shaving’
    • ‘Most shaving creams contain a little moisturiser, but if a man needs to improve the general condition of his skin, then he should use an aftershave balm.’
    • ‘If lipstick ‘bleeds’ into lines around your lips, drench them with moisturisers and use a balm every night.’
    • ‘Male grooming is booming in Yorkshire - but do men actually know their scrubs from their balms and their gels from their serums?’
    • ‘If you are concerned about caring for your skin you can buy skin cream, bug balm and wind balm - all made from only natural ingredients.’
    • ‘He unpacked enough magical stuff to start making potions and balms for healing again.’
    • ‘Body washes, shampoos, liquid talc, massaging balms and skin lotions are all priced at £3.99.’
    • ‘An extension to her practice is the line of lotions, gels, creams, balms and lip glosses.’
    • ‘Would my hard veneer of masculinity be transformed into a soft glow by the balm of moisturising cream?’
    • ‘The better ones will lavish you with tiny containers of balms, lotions and other sweet-smelling potions.’
    • ‘Olive oil also acts as a soothing balm for all types of skin rashes, including those caused through an allergic reaction.’
    • ‘The most common products used for the lip area include lipsticks and balms.’
    • ‘From shampoos to pain balms - they have a whole array of consumer items in their ever-expanding list.’
    • ‘She also had a herb and vegetable garden, where she would grow her own food and ingredients for homemade medicinal balms and liquids.’
    • ‘Health kits, containing handy wooden tools made of acacia tree, will help to kill pain in your body parts without the application of any balms.’
    • ‘Although she treats the scarring with ointments, balms and appropriate make-up, camouflaging the scars is only partially successful.’
    • ‘We tested hundreds of colors and moisturizing balms to pick these favorites.’
    • ‘With modern grooming products, battery-powered razors, and shaving balms to smooth the skin, there's probably no excuse for a man to have any facial hair.’
    • ‘Calendula lotion can be used as a soothing balm.’
    • ‘As a precaution I had come armed with repellent cream and balm.’
    • ‘He noted that many young physicians were healing themselves with the same balms they prescribed for patients.’
    ointment, lotion, cream, salve, liniment, embrocation, rub, gel, emollient, unguent, balsam, moisturizer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Something that has a soothing or restorative effect.
      ‘the murmur of the water can provide balm for troubled spirits’
      • ‘This was a writer who used words as weapons, as salves, as balms and ballistic missiles.’
      • ‘Anyone who has ever had a friend comment on their music collection in a less than favourable fashion will find this article balm for their troubled soul.’
      • ‘Mushroom-hunting is a balm to both body and spirit.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the soaring crude oil price and burgeoning demand in the Far East should provide some soothing balm to the share price.’
      • ‘The oil of religion shouldn't be used to increase the flames of violence but as a balm to heal the wounds of the people.’
      • ‘For visitors the relaxed atmosphere soothes like a balm after the heated days of summer.’
      • ‘It also reminds in the quietest way how families can provide a balm against this worry.’
      • ‘A new love could be the balm that soothes your soul.’
      • ‘Three weeks in Thailand (which I've just enjoyed) are a balm to any spirit.’
      • ‘Yet while most young'uns turn to the soothing balm of indifference, others are drawn toward alternative means of expressing their frustration, which is where hip-hop steps up to bat.’
      • ‘Indeed, an evenly divided Congress could provide the healing balm the country desperately needs.’
      • ‘Again, the nature of the job has a lot to do with it: plenty of brain-food, regular contact with enthusiastic law clerks, and life tenure, which is a balm to anyone's blood pressure.’
      • ‘As someone who regularly complains about modern African art's lack of visibility in contemporary exhibitions, this dual presentation was a balm for the spirit, a hint of better things to come.’
      • ‘His best friend's laughter was like a balm, soothing away all his tension and residual nervousness from the date.’
      • ‘For a moment, the murk feels strangely comforting, like walking out of a rave into the balm of an urban winter smog.’
      • ‘These people cannot or will not allow themselves the comfort, the balm, that the boy's soul lives eternally.’
      • ‘It is a place to reflect on noble sacrifice and draw comfort from the balm of uplifting scenery.’
      • ‘What you need is an aural balm to soothe all ears.’
      • ‘They come for the balm that touch can provide in times that are immensely stressful to the human psyche.’
      • ‘Her smile and her touch were a comforting balm to Estelle.’
      relief, comfort, ease, consolation, cheer, solace
      View synonyms
  • 2A tree which yields a fragrant resinous substance, especially one used in medicine.

    Species in several families, in particular those of the genus Commiphora (family Burseraceae). See also balm of Gilead

    • ‘Shakyamuni passed away from his 80 years life at the foot of the Linden balm tree in Kushinagara, India.’
    • ‘A typical nest thus pointed out by an over-obliging bird was saddled neatly on a horizontal limb of a balm tree at the height of about 30 feet from the ground and the ever-present lake.’
    • ‘Now this did not one jot move the orange till she saw a man at work with an incision-knife, upon a balm-tree there at hand, to let out the balsam.’
    • ‘The balm tree is no longer found in Judea.’
    • ‘Sitting here, I have so far watched a hummingbird mating ritual, the honey bees at the balm tree, the unusually marked bees in flowering chives.’
    1. 2.1mass noun The resinous substance yielded by a balm.
      • ‘The balm exuded by this shrub led to it being regarded throughout part of its native range (especially in Spain, Italy, & Greece) as one & the same with the biblical Balm of Gilead.’
  • 3mass noun A bushy herb of the mint family, with leaves smelling and tasting of lemon.

    Melissa officinalis, family Labiatae

    • ‘Lyle was restricted to only water and tea made of chamomile, lemon balm and spearmint, and he was not to drink fruit juice for several weeks.’
    • ‘You can also buy the balms direct from the company's website for $3 each.’
    • ‘There will also be a scented area with plants such as curry, rosemary, lemon balm and lavender.’
    • ‘My favorite herbs to grow are basil, oregano, lemon balm, parsley and mint.’
    • ‘Growing my own fresh herbs saves me easily $35-50 per year… I grow my own oregano, basil, lemon balm, lemon thyme, chives, sage, and cilantro.’
    • ‘Some of my favourites include vervain, rosemary, lemon balm, skullcap, wild oats and ginseng.’
    • ‘Along with taking herbs, inhale the relaxing scents of lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, bergamot, orange blossom or rose.’
    • ‘In his head, he made a catalog of what the tea would need - blackcurrant, chamomile, heather, hawthorn, lemon balm, motherwort, marjoram, passion flower, and St John's wort.’
    • ‘Mint, lemon balm, pennyroyal, chives, chamomile, mayflower, and summer savory are a few herbs perfectly suited to this microclimate.’
    • ‘The consensus is that they tend to avoid aromatic herbs including garlic, onions, chives, rosemary, lavender, lemon balm, mint, tansy, lovage, marjoram, thyme, sage and fennel.’
    • ‘I found my homegrown mint, lemon balm and chamomile were more flavorful than the herbal ingredients I could buy.’
    • ‘They are, in descending order of potency, lemon balm, peppermint and spearmint.’
    • ‘A favorite blend is equal parts of spearmint, chamomile flowers, fennel seeds, catnip and lemon balm.’
    • ‘Harvest culinary and medicinal herbs like lemon balm, mint, French tarragon, summer savory and basil before they go to seed.’
    • ‘In addition to peppermint and ginger, good stomach-friendly seasonings include caraway, chamomile, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, rosemary and thyme.’
    • ‘Herbs you can use in the bath are bay leaf, chamomile, hyssop, lemon balm and lime flowers.’
    • ‘Besides picking the more familiar lemon balm, coltsfoot and mullein, I found myself picking honeysuckle flowers for their antibacterial and antiviral properties.’
    • ‘Its flavour is similar to juniper, and like lemon balm its leaves can be used as a bath herb or dried for potpourri and herb pillows.’
    • ‘To ensure that the herb is fresh and potent, crush a few leaves and take a whiff; lemon balm should smell like lemons.’
    • ‘Herbs such as chives, lemon balm, marjoram, and mint are also attractive to insects.’
    1. 3.1 Used in names of other aromatic herbs of the mint family, e.g. bee balm.
      • ‘The apothecary, Harold, was robbed of some herbs and balms, as I am sure you know.’
      • ‘I almost passed over her, cloaked in an old brown robe and deep in conversation with a toothless old peasant woman selling various herbs and balms.’
      • ‘Bee Balm is a very pretty herb with a wonderful fruity, minty aroma.’
      • ‘They can't see red, but are attracted to some red flowers, such as bee balm, that reflect ultraviolet light.’
      • ‘I purchased my bee balm from flea and farmer's markets.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘preparation for embalming, fragrant resinous substance’): from Old French basme, from Latin balsamum (see balsam).

Pronunciation

balm

/bɑːm/