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A yellow to brown wax secreted by honeybees to build honeycombs.
A resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters; SYN. seal. sealing-wax
ETYM AS. weax; akin to OFries. wax, Dutch was, German wachs, Old High Germ. wahs, Icel. and Swed. vax, Dan. vox, Lith. vaszkas, Russ. vosk.
Any of various substances of either mineral origin or plant or animal origin; they are solid at normal temperatures and insoluble in water.
Solid fatty substance of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin.
Waxes are composed variously of esters, fatty acids, free alcohols, and solid hydrocarbons.
Mineral waxes are obtained from petroleum and vary in hardness from the soft petroleum jelly (or petrolatum) used in ointments to the hard paraffin wax employed for making candles and waxed paper for drinks cartons.
Animal waxes include beeswax, the wool wax lanolin, and spermaceti from sperm-whale oil; they are used mainly in cosmetics, ointments, and polishes. Another animal wax is tallow, a form of suet obtained from cattle and sheep’s fat, once widely used to make candles and soap. Sealing wax is made from lac or shellac, a resinous substance obtained from secretions of scale insects.
Vegetable waxes, which usually occur as a waterproof coating on plants that grow in hot, arid regions, include carnauba wax (from the leaves of the carnauba palm) and candelilla wax, both of which are components of hard polishes such as automobile waxes.