- a tropical American tree, Ochroma pyramidale (lagopus), of the bombax family, yielding an exceedingly light wood used for life preservers, rafts, toy airplanes, etc.
- a raft made of balsa wood.
- any life raft.
- a bombacaceous tree, Ochroma lagopus, of tropical America
- Also called: balsawood the very light wood of this tree, used for making rafts, etc
- a light raft
South American tree, 1866, apparently from Spanish balsa “float,” originally the name of rafts used on the Pacific coast of Latin America (1777). The wood is very light.