Definition of balm in English:

balm

noun

  • 1A fragrant ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe the skin.

    • ‘Body washes, shampoos, liquid talc, massaging balms and skin lotions are all priced at £3.99.’
    • ‘The better ones will lavish you with tiny containers of balms, lotions and other sweet-smelling potions.’
    • ‘We tested hundreds of colors and moisturizing balms to pick these favorites.’
    • ‘Male grooming is booming in Yorkshire - but do men actually know their scrubs from their balms and their gels from their serums?’
    • ‘As a precaution I had come armed with repellent cream and balm.’
    • ‘If lipstick ‘bleeds’ into lines around your lips, drench them with moisturisers and use a balm every night.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Calendula lotion can be used as a soothing balm.’
    • ‘Olive oil also acts as a soothing balm for all types of skin rashes, including those caused through an allergic reaction.’
    • ‘He noted that many young physicians were healing themselves with the same balms they prescribed for patients.’
    • ‘From shampoos to pain balms - they have a whole array of consumer items in their ever-expanding list.’
    • ‘Would my hard veneer of masculinity be transformed into a soft glow by the balm of moisturising cream?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The most common products used for the lip area include lipsticks and balms.’
    • ‘Although she treats the scarring with ointments, balms and appropriate make-up, camouflaging the scars is only partially successful.’
    • ‘She also had a herb and vegetable garden, where she would grow her own food and ingredients for homemade medicinal balms and liquids.’
    • ‘He unpacked enough magical stuff to start making potions and balms for healing again.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An extension to her practice is the line of lotions, gels, creams, balms and lip glosses.’
    ointment, lotion, cream, salve, liniment, embrocation, rub, gel, emollient, unguent, balsam, moisturizer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Something that has a comforting, soothing, or restorative effect.
      ‘the murmur of the water can provide balm for troubled spirits’
      • ‘These people cannot or will not allow themselves the comfort, the balm, that the boy's soul lives eternally.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a place to reflect on noble sacrifice and draw comfort from the balm of uplifting scenery.’
      • ‘They come for the balm that touch can provide in times that are immensely stressful to the human psyche.’
      • ‘A new love could be the balm that soothes your soul.’
      • ‘Mushroom-hunting is a balm to both body and spirit.’
      • ‘His best friend's laughter was like a balm, soothing away all his tension and residual nervousness from the date.’
      • ‘What you need is an aural balm to soothe all ears.’
      • ‘Her smile and her touch were a comforting balm to Estelle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Three weeks in Thailand (which I've just enjoyed) are a balm to any spirit.’
      • ‘For visitors the relaxed atmosphere soothes like a balm after the heated days of summer.’
      • ‘This was a writer who used words as weapons, as salves, as balms and ballistic missiles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the soaring crude oil price and burgeoning demand in the Far East should provide some soothing balm to the share price.’
      • ‘For a moment, the murk feels strangely comforting, like walking out of a rave into the balm of an urban winter smog.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Indeed, an evenly divided Congress could provide the healing balm the country desperately needs.’
      • ‘It also reminds in the quietest way how families can provide a balm against this worry.’
      relief, comfort, ease, consolation, cheer, solace
      View synonyms
  • 2A tree which yields a fragrant resinous substance, especially one used in medicine.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Shakyamuni passed away from his 80 years life at the foot of the Linden balm tree in Kushinagara, India.’
    1. 2.1 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.’
  • 3A bushy herb of the mint family, with leaves smelling and tasting of lemon.

    • ‘Some of my favourites include vervain, rosemary, lemon balm, skullcap, wild oats and ginseng.’
    • ‘To ensure that the herb is fresh and potent, crush a few leaves and take a whiff; lemon balm should smell like lemons.’
    • ‘Along with taking herbs, inhale the relaxing scents of lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, bergamot, orange blossom or rose.’
    • ‘Herbs such as chives, lemon balm, marjoram, and mint are also attractive to insects.’
    • ‘You can also buy the balms direct from the company's website for $3 each.’
    • ‘I found my homegrown mint, lemon balm and chamomile were more flavorful than the herbal ingredients I could buy.’
    • ‘Besides picking the more familiar lemon balm, coltsfoot and mullein, I found myself picking honeysuckle flowers for their antibacterial and antiviral properties.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Herbs you can use in the bath are bay leaf, chamomile, hyssop, lemon balm and lime flowers.’
    • ‘Harvest culinary and medicinal herbs like lemon balm, mint, French tarragon, summer savory and basil before they go to seed.’
    • ‘There will also be a scented area with plants such as curry, rosemary, lemon balm and lavender.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mint, lemon balm, pennyroyal, chives, chamomile, mayflower, and summer savory are a few herbs perfectly suited to this microclimate.’
    • ‘A favorite blend is equal parts of spearmint, chamomile flowers, fennel seeds, catnip and lemon balm.’
    • ‘In addition to peppermint and ginger, good stomach-friendly seasonings include caraway, chamomile, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, rosemary and thyme.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They are, in descending order of potency, lemon balm, peppermint and spearmint.’
    1. 3.1 Used in names of other aromatic herbs of the mint family, e.g. bee balm.
      • ‘They can't see red, but are attracted to some red flowers, such as bee balm, that reflect ultraviolet light.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I purchased my bee balm from flea and farmer's markets.’
      • ‘Bee Balm is a very pretty herb with a wonderful fruity, minty aroma.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

balm

/bä(l)m//bɑ(l)m/