To embalm is to prepare a body for a funeral or burial. Part of a funeral director's job is to embalm the bodies of people who have died.

Various traditions of death and burial require a dead body to be preserved with chemicals, and when someone does this, she's said to embalm the body. Occasionally, there are also medical research or educational reasons to embalm a body. Embalm has an Old French root, embaumer, "preserve a corpse with spices."

Definitions of embalm

v preserve a dead body

remove the organs and dry out (a dead body) in order to preserve it
Type of:
conserve, keep up, maintain, preserve
keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss, or destruction

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.