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Borrowed from Anglo-Norman and Middle French baume, from Old French basme, from Latin balsamum, itself from Ancient Greek ???????? (bálsamon). Spelling modified 16th c. to conform to Latin etymology. Doublet of balsam.
balm (countable and uncountable, plural balms)
- Any of various aromatic resins exuded from certain plants, especially trees of the genus Commiphora of Africa, Arabia and India and Myroxylon of South America.
- A plant or tree yielding such substance.
- Any soothing oil or lotion, especially an aromatic one.
- (figuratively) Something soothing.
- The lemon balm, Melissa officinalis
- Any of a number of other aromatic herbs with a similar citrus-like scent, such as bee balm and horse balm.