Borrowed from Latin bdellium, from Ancient Greek βδέλλιον (bdéllion), itself perhaps from Hebrew בְּדֹלַח (bdólakh), cognate with Akkadian 𒁉𒁺𒌨𒄷 (bidurḫu) or from Sanskrit भिदुर (bhidura, “something brittle, fragile, easily split or broken”).
- Probably an aromatic gum like balsam that was exuded from a tree, probably one of several species in the genus Commiphora.
- 1611, King James Version, Genesis 2:10–12:
- African bdellium (from Commiphora africana)
- Indian bdellium (from Commiphora wightii)
- Sicilian bdellium (from Daucus carota subsp. hispanicus)
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈbdel.li.um/, [ˈbd̪ɛl̠.l̠i.ʊ̃ˑ]
- (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈbdel.li.um/, [ˈbd̪ɛl.li.um]
- Probably an aromatic gum exuded from a tree, probably one of several species in the genus Commiphora, used as an adulterant of the more costly myrrh.
- The plant itself.
Second-declension noun (neuter).
1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).