from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A waxy grayish substance formed in the intestines of sperm whales and found floating at sea or washed ashore. It is added to perfumes to slow down the rate of evaporation.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish color, produced in the intestines of the sperm whale. It is used in perfumes.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A substance of the consistence of wax, found floating in the Indian Ocean and other parts of the tropics, and also as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), which is believed to be in all cases its true origin. In color it is white, ash-gray, yellow, or black, and often variegated like marble. The floating masses are sometimes from sixty to two hundred and twenty-five pounds in weight. It is wholly volatilized as a white vapor at 212° Fahrenheit, and is highly valued in perfumery.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A morbid secretion of the liver or intestines of the spermaceti whale, the Catodon (Physeter) macrocephalus; a solid, opaque, ash-colored, inflammable substance, lighter than water, of a consistence like that of wax, and having when heated a fragrant odor.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale and found floating at sea or washed ashore; used in perfume
Middle English, from Old French ambre gris : ambre, amber; see amber + gris, gray; see grisaille.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French ambre gris ("grey amber"). (Wiktionary)