frankincense

/frang"kin sens'/, n.
an aromatic gum resin from various Asian and African trees of the genus Boswellia, esp. B. carteri, used chiefly for burning as incense in religious or ceremonial practices, in perfumery, and in pharmaceutical and fumigating preparations. Also called olibanum.
[1350-1400; ME fraunk encense. See FRANK1, INCENSE1]

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Fragrant gum resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia (family Burseraceae), particularly several varieties found in Somalia, Yemen, and Oman.

This important incense resin was used in ancient times in religious rites and in embalming. It constituted part of the Jewish incense of the sanctuary and is frequently mentioned in the Pentateuch; it was one of the gifts of the magi to the infant Jesus. It is used today in incense and fumigants and as a fixative in perfumes.

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also called  olibanum 

      aromatic gum resin containing a volatile oil that was valued in ancient times in worship and as a medicine and is still an important incense resin. Frankincense is obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia (family Burseraceae), and particularly from the varieties B. frereana, B. bhaw-dajiana, and B. carteri, which are found in Somalia, the Hadhramaut region of Yemen, and Oman. Incisions are made in the trunks of the trees, and the frankincense exudes as a milklike juice that hardens on exposure to air.

      Frankincense was used by the ancient Egyptians in their religious rites. It constituted part of the Jewish incense of the sanctuary and is frequently mentioned in the Pentateuch. Pliny the Elder described the characteristics of good-quality frankincense and mentioned it as an antidote to hemlock poisoning. The Iranian physician Avicenna recommended it for a wide range of bodily ailments. In China and elsewhere in the East, it was used as both an internal and an external remedy, but, according to modern Western medical theory, it has no special value. Frankincense is used in incense and fumigants and as a fixative in perfumes.

      The hardened gum resin, gum thus, from which spirits of turpentine is produced, is sometimes called common, or American, frankincense.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Frankincense — from Yemen Frankincense, also called olibanum (Hebrew: לבונה, levonah; Arabic: لُبَّانٌ, lubbān; Armenian: խունկ, khunk), is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Bo …   Wikipedia

  • FRANKINCENSE — (Heb. לְבוֹנָה), the chief ingredient of the temple incense . It is mentioned a number of times among the treasures of the Temple (Neh. 13:5; I Chron. 9:29). It was burnt with the sacrifice of meal offering (Lev. 2:1) and placed upon the rows of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Frankincense — Frank in*cense, n. [OF. franc free, pure + encens incense.] 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • frankincense — (n.) late 14c., apparently from O.Fr. franc encense, from franc noble, true (see FRANK (Cf. frank) (adj.)), in this case probably signifying of the highest quality + encens incense (see INCENSE (Cf. incense) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • frankincense — ► NOUN ▪ an aromatic gum resin obtained from an African tree and burnt as incense. ORIGIN from Old French franc encens high quality incense …   English terms dictionary

  • frankincense — [fraŋ′kin sens΄] n. [ME < OFr franc encens (in sense “pure, high grade” incense): see FRANK1 & INCENSE1] a gum resin obtained from various Arabian and African trees (genus Boswellia) of the bursera family and used in perfumes and as incense;… …   English World dictionary

  • Frankincense —    (Heb. lebonah; Gr. libanos, i.e., white ), an odorous resin imported from Arabia (Isa. 60:6; Jer. 6:20), yet also growing in Palestine (Cant. 4:14). It was one of the ingredients in the perfume of the sanctuary (Ex. 30:34), and was used as an… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • frankincense — frank|in|cense [ fræŋkın,sens ] noun uncount a substance that is burned to produce a nice smell in some religious ceremonies. Frankincense is a type of incense …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • frankincense — [[t]fræ̱ŋkɪnsens[/t]] N UNCOUNT Frankincense is a substance which is obtained from a tree and which smells pleasant when it is burned. It is used especially in religious ceremonies …   English dictionary

  • frankincense — UK [ˈfræŋkɪnsens] / US [ˈfræŋkɪnˌsens] noun [uncountable] a substance that is burned to produce a nice smell in some religious ceremonies. Frankincense is a type of incense …   English dictionary

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