Em·balm v. t. [imp. & p. p. Embalmed p. pr. & vb. n. Embalming.]
1. To anoint all over with balm; especially, to preserve from decay by means of balm or other aromatic oils, or spices; to fill or impregnate (a dead body), with aromatics and drugs that it may resist putrefaction.
Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm ░is father; and the physicians embalmed Israel. --Gem. l. 2.
2. To fill or imbue with sweet odor; to perfume.
With fresh dews embalmed the earth. --Milton.
3. To preserve from decay or oblivion as if with balm; to perpetuate in remembrance.
Those tears eternal that embalm the dead. --Pope.
the process of preserving a body by means of aromatics (Gen.
50:2, 3, 26). This art was practised by the Egyptians from the
earliest times, and there brought to great perfection. This
custom probably originated in the belief in the future reunion
of the soul with the body. The process became more and more
complicated, and to such perfection was it carried that bodies
embalmed thousands of years ago are preserved to the present day
in the numberless mummies that have been discovered in Egypt.
The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the
Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2
Chr. 16:14), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John
19:39, 40; Luke 23:56; 24:1). (See PHARAOH.)