benzoin

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle French benjoin, from Spanish benjuí, Portuguese beijoin, Italian benzoi, from Arabic لُبَان جَاوِيّ ‎(lubān jāwiyy, Javanese frankincense). The initial lu was probably lost because it was taken as the definite article in Romance. Compare oliban.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɛnzəʊɪn/, /ˈbɛnzɔɪn/

Noun[edit]

benzoin ‎(countable and uncountable, plural benzoins)

  1. A resinous substance, dry and brittle, obtained from the Styrax benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, etc., having a fragrant odor, and slightly aromatic taste. It is used in the preparation of benzoic acid, in medicine, and as a perfume. [from 16th c.]
  2. (organic chemistry) An aromatic hydroxy ketone, 2-hydroxy-1,2-di(phenyl)ethanone, synthesized from benzaldehyde; any derivative of this compound. [from 19th c.]
  3. The spicebush, Lindera benzoin. [from 19th c.]

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