a. Any of several aromatic resins, such as balsam of Peru and balsam of Tolu, that contain considerable amounts of benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, or both, or their esters.
b. Any of several other fragrant plant resins, such as Canada balsam.
c. A similar substance, especially a fragrant ointment used as medication; a balm.
2. Any of various trees, especially the balsam fir, yielding an aromatic resinous substance.
3. See impatiens.
[Latin balsamum, balm of Gilead, from Greek balsamon, of Semitic origin; see bśm in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
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