Definition of storax in English:


(also styrax)


  • 1[mass noun] A rare fragrant gum resin obtained from an East Mediterranean tree, sometimes used in medicine, perfumery, and incense.

    • ‘Many of today's perfume ingredients such as cassia, cinnamon, sandalwood, styrax, benzoin, jasmine, rose, and so on were used for incense by ancient Chinese, Indian or Egyptian cultures already 5000 years ago.’
    • ‘The perfume is a blend of peppermint, lavender, patchouli, atlas cedarwood, coffee, styrax, musk and tonka bean.’
    1. 1.1A liquid balsam obtained from the Asian liquidambar tree.
      • ‘The bark is then pressed in cold water alternating with boiling water, and crude liquid storax obtained from this process is collected.’
      • ‘Externally, mixed with two or three parts of olive oil, liquid storax was found to be very effective as a local remedy in scabies.’
      • ‘It is named after the fragrant resin known as liquid storax, which is milked by making cuts in the bark.’
      • ‘This liquid storax has been confused with the storax of antiquity which came from the bark of the Styrax officinalis, a Mediterranean shrub.’
      • ‘This storax resin is sometimes called liquid storax, because it comes in a pourable semi-liquid state, and is sold by the fluid ounce.’
  • 2A tropical or subtropical tree or shrub with showy white flowers in drooping clusters.

    • ‘Its ‘mother’ has always produced zillions of seeds and, until this baby bloomed, there were no other styraxes around.’
    • ‘Shrubs here are storax, beautyberry, and small-leaf viburnum.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, from a variant of Greek sturax.