• WordNet 3.6
    • n frankincense an aromatic gum resin obtained from various Arabian or East African trees; formerly valued for worship and for embalming and fumigation
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The 3 Magi:(or Wise Men) and their gifts: Melchoir, "king of light," offered Gold, Gaspar ,"or the white one," offered frankincense, and Balthazar, "lord of treasures," offered myrrh.
    • n Frankincense A fragrant, aromatic resin, or gum resin, burned as an incense in religious rites or for medicinal fumigation. The best kinds now come from East Indian trees, of the genus Boswellia; a commoner sort, from the Norway spruce (Abies excelsa) and other coniferous trees. The frankincense of the ancient Jews is still unidentified.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • 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.
    • n frankincense An aromatic gum resin yielded by trees of the genus Boswellia, much used from ancient times, especially for burning as incense in religious observances. See olibanum. Also called gum thus.
    • n frankincense Hence2, Some other resin resembling olibanum in any way. The common frankincense of druggists is the concrete turpentine which collects upon the trunks of the pines in the turpentine-lands of the southern United states. It is a semi-opaque pale-yellow resin, and is used in the composition of plasters. A similar resin from the Pinus Tæda was formerly used in the churches of Europe as a substitute for olibanum.
    • n frankincense The principal trees yielding resinous exudations known as frankincense are: Boswellia Carterii (see Boswellia)
    • n frankincense the Norway spruce, Abies Picea;
    • n frankincense the loblolly-pine, Pinus Tæda (see frankincense, 2); and.
    • n frankincense Styrax punctata (see Styrax).
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Frankincense frangk′in-sens a sweet-smelling vegetable resin from Arabia, used in sacrifices.
    • ***


  • Henry David Thoreau
    “The words which express our faith and piety are not definite; yet they are significant and fragrant like frankincense to superior natures.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. franc, free, pure + encens, incense
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. franc encens, pure incense.


In literature:

Admonished by such examples, the Ismenian matrons frequent the new worship, and offer frankincense, and reverence the sacred altars.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
A close smell of tropical plant life crept into the room, but this was as frankincense and myrrh to his nostrils.
"The Sins of Séverac Bablon" by Sax Rohmer
Next to the altar humbly kneel, and thence Give up thy soul in clouds of frankincense.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
Gifts of frankincense, food, and bowls of olive oil, are poured and piled upon the fire.
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil
I can breathe without her frankincense, belike, and maybe all the freer.
"The White Rose of Langley" by Emily Sarah Holt
Opening their treasures they presented to him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
"The Children's Bible" by Henry A. Sherman
To you, O woman and O virgin, myrrhs, Fruit, frankincense, I offer recklessly!
"Life Immovable" by Kostes Palamas
The air was cloudy with the breath of frankincense and myrrh.
"Fairy Book" by Sophie May
How the old fishwomen, the natural guardians of this northern frankincense, chatter and squabble!
"A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden" by W. A. Ross
Sol's love for Leucothoe, and her change to a tree of frankincense.
"The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II" by Ovid

In poetry:

Not as the Magi came, of old,
With offerings to the new-born King,
Of myrrh, and frankincense, and gold,
Come we; but, Lord, this house we bring
"Hymns For Dedication IX" by John Pierpont
Haunted as marble in the moon,
Her whiteness lies on young love's breast.
And living frankincense and myrrh
Her lips that on his lips are pressed.
"Young Love" by Richard Le Gallienne
What if undertakers follow my track,
such a death is worth dying.
She would bring frankincense and wreaths to my tomb,
She would sit like an ornament on my pyre.
"Homage To Sextus Propertius - III" by Ezra Pound
For gold — let us aright believe —
For myrrh — let's true repentance give —
For frankincense — let's praises leave,
And Christ our presents will receive.
"Let Us Go To Bethlehem " by Rees Prichard
Gold and myrrh, gold and myrrh,
Frankincense for harbinger,
Myrrh to make His sepulchre.
Roses white and roses red,
Thorns arrayed for His dear Head.
Hail! hail! Wise Men who seek His bed
"Bethlehem" by Michael Fairless
With three rich presents, they the Babe did greet,
Which to Christ's offices did all belong,
And humbly laid them at his sacred feet —
Gold, myrrh, and frankincense, of fragrance strong.
"Adam's Race" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Grim Future For Frankincense .
More than 2,000 years after the first Christmas, the world is running out of frankincense .
Frankincense , Christmas staple, 'doomed': Scientists.
If fire, grazing and insect attack, the most likely causes of decline, remain unchecked, then frankincense production could be doomed altogether.
Frankincense threatened by conditions in Ethiopia.
Frankincense Fit for a King (One, Anyway).
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis.
Frankincense may help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis, according to a study of 70 patients.
We already know gold is good – but what's so great about frankincense and myrrh.
gold, and frankincense , and myrrh.
But what are frankincense , and myrrh.
More than 2,000 years after the first Christmas, the world is running out of frankincense.
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh .
A Chemical Eye on Frankincense and Myrrh .
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis .