Camphor Cam"phor (k[a^]m"f[~e]r), n. [OE. camfere, F. camphre (cf. It. canfora, Sp. camfora, alcanfor, LL. canfora, camphora, NGr. kafoyra`), fr. Ar. k[=a]f[=u]r, prob. fr. Skr. karp[=u]ra.] 1. A tough, white, aromatic resin, or gum, obtained from different species of the {Laurus} family, esp. from {Cinnamomum camphara} (the {Laurus camphora} of Linn[ae]us.). Camphor, {C10H16O}, is volatile and fragrant, and is used in medicine as a diaphoretic, a stimulant, or sedative. [1913 Webster]

2. originally, a gum resembling ordinary camphor, obtained from a tree ({Dryobalanops aromatica} formerly {Dryobalanops camphora}) growing in Sumatra and Borneo; now applied to its main constituent, a terpene alcohol obtainable as a white solid {C10H18O}, called also {Borneo camphor}, {Malay camphor}, {Malayan camphor}, {camphor of Borneo}, {Sumatra camphor}, {bornyl alcohol}, {camphol}, and {borneol}. The isomer from {Dryobalanops} is dextrorotatory; the levoratatory form is obtainable from other species of plants, and the racemic mixture may be obtained by reduction of camphor. It is used in perfumery, and for manufacture of its esters. See {Borneol}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: The name camphor is also applied to a number of bodies of similar appearance and properties, as {cedar camphor}, obtained from the red or pencil cedar ({Juniperus Virginiana}), and {peppermint camphor}, or {menthol}, obtained from the oil of peppermint. [1913 Webster]

{Camphor oil} (Chem.), name variously given to certain oil-like products, obtained especially from the camphor tree.

{Camphor tree}, a large evergreen tree ({Cinnamomum Camphora}) with lax, smooth branches and shining triple-nerved lanceolate leaves, probably native in China, but now cultivated in most warm countries. Camphor is collected by a process of steaming the chips of the wood and subliming the product. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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