ben·zo·in (bĕnzō-ĭn, -zoin′)
1. A balsamic resin obtained from certain tropical Asian trees of the genus Styrax and used in perfumery and medicine. Also called benjamin, gum benjamin, gum benzoin.
2. A white or yellowish crystalline compound, C14H12O2, derived from benzaldehyde.
[Earlier benjoin, from French benjoin and Italian benzoino, both from Arabic lubān jāwī, frankincense of Java; see lbn in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.