Definition of balm of Gilead
- 2a tree that yields a fragrant medicinal resin, in particular.
- an Arabian tree traditionally of importance in medicine and perfumery (Commiphora gileadensis, family Burseraceae). either of two poplars with sticky aromatic buds (Populus × gileadensis (or candicans) and the balsam poplar, family Salicaceae). the balsam fir.
early 16th century: balm from a translation in Coverdale's Bible (Gen. 37:25), rendered 'resin' in the Vulgate; Gilead from the assumption that this resin is the substance mentioned in the Bible as coming from Gilead