• WordNet 3.6
    • n Benzoin used in some classifications for the American spicebush and certain other plants often included in the genus Lindera
    • n benzoin gum resin used especially in treating skin irritation
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Benzoin A resinous substance, dry and brittle, obtained from the Styrax benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, etc., having a fragrant odor, and slightly aromatic taste. It is used in the preparation of benzoic acid, in medicine, and as a perfume.
    • Benzoin A white crystalline substance, C14H12O2, obtained from benzoic aldehyde and some other sources.
    • Benzoin (Bot) The spicebush (Lindera benzoin).
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n benzoin Gum benjamin; the concrete resinous juice of Styrax Benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, and the Malay peninsula, obtained by incisions into the bark. The benzoin of commerce is obtained from both Sumatra and Siam, that from Siam being much superior to the other in quality. When rubbed or heated, it has a fragrant and agreeable odor. It is chiefly used in cosmetics and perfumes, and in incense in Roman Catholic and Greek churches, and is the base of the tincture called friars' or Turlington's balsam, long famous as a remedy for bronchitis and an effective application to indolent sores, etc. It forms the medicinal ingredient of court-plaster. See Styrax.
    • n benzoin [capitalized] A genus of aromatic dicotyledonous trees or shrubs of the family Lauraceæ. See Lindera.
    • n benzoin A compound, C6H5CHOHCOC6H5, formed when benzaldehyde is boiled with alcohol containing a little potassium cyanide. It melts at 130° C. and boils at 344° C. Also diphenylethanolone.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Benzoin ben′zō-in or -zoin gum benjamin, the aromatic and resinous juice of the Styrax Benzoin of Java and Sumatra. It is used in perfumery, in pastilles, and for incense, and its compound tincture yields Friar's Balsam or Jesuit's Drops, and is used in making court-plaster.
    • n Benzoin ben′zō-in or -zoin, gum benjamin, the aromatic and resinous juice of the Styrax Benzoin of Java and Sumatra. It is used in perfumery, in pastilles, and for incense, and its compound tincture yields Friar's Balsam or Jesuit's Drops, and is used in making court-plaster.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. benjoin, Sp. benjui, Pg. beijoin,; all fr. Ar. lubān-jāwī, incense form Sumatra (named Java in Arabic), the first syllable being lost. Cf. Benjamin
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
In the 16th century, Benjoin. Most prob. through It. from Ar. lubān jāwī, frankincense of Java, Sumatra, &c.


In literature:

Sumatra and Java sent benzoin to her markets.
"Messer Marco Polo" by Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
BENZOIN, a fragrant concrete resinous juice flowing from a styrax-tree of Sumatra, used as a cosmetic, and burned as incense.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
They were laden with benzoin, storax, pepper, china dishes, and pitch.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII." by Robert Kerr
Then reverse the taffeta, coat it on the back with tincture of benzoin, and allow it to become perfectly dry.
"Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889" by Barkham Burroughs
They brought in their ship ivory, benzoin, and stone for the citizens of this city.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898" by E. H. Blair
It has a strong odor, like benzoin.
"The Art of Perfumery" by G. W. Septimus Piesse
The gum or resin called dulang is named by us scented benzoin from its peculiar fragrance.
"The History of Sumatra" by William Marsden
Simple tincture of benzoin, one-half ounce.
"The Woman Beautiful" by Helen Follett Stevans
He was perfumed with storax and benzoin.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
Or, put one ounce of powdered gum benzoin in a pint of whisky.
"The Ladies Book of Useful Information" by Anonymous
Flexible collodion (or compound tincture of benzoin).
"The Elements of Bacteriological Technique" by John William Henry Eyre
The benzoin merchant, betraying a habit acquired in a ruder society, groped vaguely at his hip.
"Where the Pavement Ends" by John Russell
It was nothing, I believe, but a compound tincture of benzoin.
"Forty Years in the Wilderness of Pills and Powders" by William A. Alcott
Benzoin, dragon's-blood, and storax are not true balsams, though sometimes called so.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 3" by Various
A sheet was hanging outside a bath, and odours of almond-paste and of benzoin were exhaled.
"Sentimental Education Vol 1" by Gustave Flaubert
Its head is placed near the foot of the figure, and benzoin and camphor are waved.
"Omens and Superstitions of Southern India" by Edgar Thurston
Besides he carried upon him scents of storax and benzoin.
"The Story of Magellan and The Discovery of the Philippines" by Hezekiah Butterworth
You may try a strong ethereal or alcoholic solution of benzoin, tolu, storax, olibanum or labdanum.
"Scientific American, Vol. XXXIX.--No. 24. [New Series.], December 14, 1878" by Various
It comes from Camboja laden with rice, camanguian or benzoin, and other drugs.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume 29 of 55" by Various
It has been identified with benzoin, but was probably frankincense.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 3" by Various

In poetry:

March is the month of cringe and bluster.
Each of our children has a sister.
They cling together like Hansel and Gretel,
With their noses glued to the benzoin kettle.
"One Third Of The Calendar" by Ogden Nash

In news:

Northern spicebush ( Lindera benzoin ) is a native shrub, 6-12 feet tall, that grows in moist locations in woods, valleys and along streams.