Definition for AM'BER

AM'BER, n. [Fr. ambre; Sp. ambar; Port. id; It. ambra; an Oriental word; Pers. عَنَبَرْ anbar or anabar; Ar. عَنْبَرٌ anbaron. In 1 Kings x. 2. 10, the Arabic is rendered, spices. The Arabic word is rendered by Castle, amber, a marine fish, a shield made of skins, crocus and fimus. In Eth. ዐነበረ anbara, is rendered, a whale; and the word is used in Jonah ii. 1. and Matth. xii. 40. This word is placed by Castle under عَنًبَ annaba, to produce grapes, and عَنُب signifies grapes, Ch. and Heb. ענב. The Chaldee verb signifies, to join or connect, and the sense of this worth applied to grapes, is a cluster, like grape in English. It signifies also in Ch. a tumor, a pustule, a mountain, the sense of which is a lump or mass collected and this may be the sense of amber. In German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish, it has the name of burnstone.]

A hard semi-pellucid substance, tasteless and without smell, except when pounded or heated, when it emits a fragrant odor. It is found in alluvial soils, or on the sea shore, in many places; particularly on the shores of the Baltic, in Europe, and at Cape Sable, in Maryland, in the United States. The ancient opinion of its vegetable origin seems now to be established, and it is believed or known to be a fossil resin. It yields by distillation an empyreumatic oil, and the succinic acid, which sublimes in small white needles. Its color usually presents some tinge of yellow. It is highly electrical, and is the basis of a varnish. – Journal of Science. Encyc. Chambers.

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