• WordNet 3.6
    • v embalm preserve a dead body
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Three Wise Men of the East brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus. Frankincense is a gum resin used as a base for incense. Myrrh, also a gum resin, was valued as a perfume and unguent used in embalming.
    • Embalm To anoint all over with balm; especially, to preserve from decay by means of balm or other aromatic oils, or spices; to fill or impregnate (a dead body), with aromatics and drugs that it may resist putrefaction. "Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father; and the physicians embalmed Israel."
    • Embalm To fill or imbue with sweet odor; to perfume. "With fresh dews embalmed the earth."
    • Embalm To preserve from decay or oblivion as if with balm; to perpetuate in remembrance. "Those tears eternal that embalm the dead."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • embalm To dress or anoint with balm; specifically, to preserve from decay by means of balsams or other aromatic spices; keep from putrefaction by impregnating with spices, gums, and chemicals, as a dead body. The ancient process was to open the body, remove the viscera, and fill the cavities with antiseptic spices and drugs. (See mummy.) In modern times many substances and methods have been employed in embalming, as by injection of arsenical preparations into the blood-vessels, generally with a view only to the preservation of the body for a certain period, as during transportation to a distant point, or instead of refrigeration in hot weather during the ordinary interval before burial.
    • embalm Hence To preserve from neglect or decay; preserve in memory.
    • embalm To impart fragrance to; fill with sweet scent.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Embalm em-bäm′ to preserve from decay by aromatic drugs, as a dead body: to perfume: to preserve with care and affection
    • ***


  • John Milton
    “A good book is the precious life-blood of the master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond.”
  • Florence King
    “Showing up at school already able to read is like showing up at the undertaker's already embalmed: people start worrying about being put out of their jobs.”
  • Dustin Hoffman
    Dustin Hoffman
    “One thing about being successful is that I stopped being afraid of dying. Once you're a star you're dead already. You're embalmed.”
  • Benjamin Disraeli
    “A precedent embalms a principle.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. embaumer,; pref. em-,L. in,) + baume, balm. See Balm
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. embaumer, from em, in, and baume. See Balm.


In literature:

How they took up the slain body of their Edmund, and reverently embalmed it.
"Past and Present" by Thomas Carlyle
The Egyptian sought in vain to make the mortal body incorruptible by embalming it.
"Separation and Service" by James Hudson Taylor
I found in one of these upper rooms the mummy of a child very well embalmed.
"Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests" by J. J. von Tschudi
Before the embalmment it would have been possible for Omega to restore life to his boy.
"Omega, the Man" by Lowell Howard Morrow
The Congo people bury ornaments, utensils, arms, etc., and embalm the body after one or two years.
"The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul" by Jirah D. Buck
Its wit, its humour, or its malignity embalms it, and saves it from destruction.
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810" by Various
One owes that to oneself, that one may be nice and fat when one is to be embalmed with apples and plums.
"What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales" by Hans Christian Andersen
Yes, and it embalms even the half-forgotten and long-disused Struggle on the Cliff.
"When Winter Comes to Main Street" by Grant Martin Overton
Let the name of its author be embalmed with that of Luther, and Howard, and Raikes, and Wilberforce.
"Select Temperance Tracts" by American Tract Society
It is a duty we owe to ourselves that we may be nice and fat when we come to be embalmed with sage and onions and apples.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen

In poetry:

The morning twilight of the race
Sends down these matin psalms;
And still with wondering eyes we trace
The simple prayers to Soma's grace,
That Vedic verse embalms.
"The Brewing Of Soma" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Embalm'd in fame, and sacred from decay,
What mighty name, in arms, in arts, or verse,
From England claims this consecrated day.
Her nobles crowding round the shadowy hearse?
"Sheridan" by Thomas Gent
Nymph of the Trent! why didst thou not appear
To snatch the victim from thy felon wave!
Alas! too late thou camest to embalm his bier,
And deck with waterflags his early grave.
"Elegy Occasioned" by Henry Kirke White
At morn the King arose: He bade be sought
Embalmers taught in Egypt; they were brought.
With linen pure and costly gums they dressed
That virgin body for the grave's long rest.
"Nebuchadnezzar: Canto VIII: The End Of Nebuchadnezzar" by Thomas Aird
My father, though no more, thine ear
Censure or praise of mine can hear,
It soothes me to embalm thy name
With all my hope, my pride, my fame,
Treasures of Fancy's fairy hall,--
Thy name most precious far of all.
"The Troubadour. Canto 4" by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
'T is sunset in my garden —the flowers and buds have caught
Bright revelations from the skies in wondrous changes wrought;
And as the twilight hastens on, a spiritual calm
Seems resting on the quiet leaves which evening dews embalm.
"My Garden" by Caroline Howard Gilman

In news:

According to the board's order, William B Ellenberg III, owner of Metro Embalming and Crematory on Gees Mills Business Parkway, dismembered the body prior to cremation .
An Ohio woman is suing a western Pennsylvania funeral home where her father's body was found partially embalmed after the building was subject to a sheriff's sale.
(The recently discovered KV 63 is another embalming cache from about the same time as Tut.
The embalmed body of actor Sherman Hemsley, best known for portraying TV's George Jefferson, is being kept refrigerated in a funeral home in El Paso, Texas, until a local court decides on the validity of his will.
A family can't bring damage claims in New Mexico against an out-of-state funeral home that placed a relative's brain in a casket with an embalmed body shipped to New Mexico, the state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
SINCE the Soviet Union folded in 1991, Russia has been tippy-toeing around the dead mouse on the national living room floor, namely Lenin's embalmed corpse.
He was doing 800 funeral a year, selling 500 embalming machines a year, and who knows how many Turner microphones ended up in funeral home s, churches, lodges, schools or government halls over the years.
GIBSONVILLE — Ray Overman auctioned a portable embalming kit from the old Bartlett Funeral Home last weekend.
On Saturday, with the LSU offense running on embalming fluid in the first half, Tyrann Mathieu plucked the SEC championship right out from under the noses of an inspired Georgia team.
It also produced a poultry-lice killer, a cure for mange, suppositories, a cream that was touted as promoting the building of muscles, a freckle remover and even embalming fluid.
CT scans on female embalmed 2,500 years ago find stick, 1 of only 2 such implements known.
Lonesome George, who died Sunday from natural causes, will be embalmed and put on display.
In addition to being a stand-up comedian and funny man, Iannotti is also a licensed embalmer and funeral director.
This is what technology is bringing to the modern mortuary, and for the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, it's not a moment too soon.