I. noun 1. a fragrant cream or liquid used to heal or soothe the skin. • a skin balm for use after shaving.
2. something that has a soothing or restorative effect • the murmur of the water can provide balm for troubled spirits.
3. a tree which yields a fragrant resinous substance, especially one used in medicine.●Species in several families, in particular those of the genus Commiphora (family Burseraceae). . 4. [ mass noun] — the resinous substance yielded by a balm. 5. (also lemon or sweet balm) [ mass noun] — a bushy herb of the mint family, with leaves smelling and tasting of lemon.● Melissa officinalis, family Labiatae. 6. used in names of other aromatic herbs of the mint family, e.g. bee balm.
– origin Middle English (in the sense ‘preparation for embalming, fragrant resinous substance’): from Old French basme, from Latin balsamum (see balsam).