verb (used with object)
- to treat (a dead body) so as to preserve it, as with chemicals, drugs, or balsams.
- to preserve from oblivion; keep in memory: his deeds embalmed in the hearts of his disciples.
- to cause to remain unchanged; prevent the development of.
- to impart a balmy fragrance to.
- to treat (a dead body) with preservatives, as by injecting formaldehyde into the blood vessels, to retard putrefaction
- to preserve or cherish the memory of
- poetic to give a sweet fragrance to
mid-14c., from Middle French embaumer “preserve (a corpse) with spices,” from en- “in” (see en- (1)) + baume “balm” (see balm) + -er verbal suffix. The -l- inserted in English 1500s in imitation of Latin. Related: Embalmed; embalming.
- To treat a corpse with preservatives in order to prevent decay.