American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A waxy white or colorless solid hydrocarbon mixture used to make candles, wax paper, lubricants, and sealing materials. Also called paraffin wax.
- n. Chemistry A member of the alkane series.
- n. Chiefly British Kerosene.
- v. To saturate, impregnate, or coat with paraffin.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The collective name for compounds of the marsh-gas series which have the general formula CnH2n + 2—that is, two more than twice as many hydrogen atoms as carbon atoms. These bodies are characterized by a remarkable chemical indifference. They are saturated hydrocarbons, all the atoms in the molecule being joined by single bonds, and therefore they cannot enter into combination without partial destruction of the molecule.
- n. Specifically, in com. and manufacturing, a substance obtained by the dry distillation of wood, peat, bituminous coal, wax, etc. It is a tasteless, inodorous, fatty matter, and resists the action of acids and alkalis. It is largely used in the manufacture of candles, which equal those of the finest wax, and is used also as a waterproofing material for paper and fabrics, for lining wooden and metallic vessels, as trays and tanks for acids and voltaic batteries, as an electric insulator, for coating splints and other appliances which are subjected to septic influences, for giving a polish in fine laundry-work, as a vehicle for the fulminate in matches, as a cartridge-covering, for preserving fruit and vegetables by forming a film or coating on the surface, and for many other purposes. One of the main sources, of paraffin is crude petroleum, which yields a considerable quantity during its preparation for market.
- n. Petroleum or kerosene.
- To coat or impregnate with paraffin; treat with paraffin.
- n. UK A petroleum based thin and colorless fuel oil, (kerosene in US English).
- n. chemistry Any member of the alkane hydrocarbons.
- n. paraffin wax.
- v. To impregnate or treat with paraffin
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Chem.) A white waxy substance, resembling spermaceti, tasteless and odorless, and obtained from coal tar, wood tar, petroleum, etc., by distillation. It is used in candles, as a sealing agent (such as in canning of preserves), as a waterproofing agent, as an illuminant and as a lubricant. It is very inert, not being acted upon by most of the strong chemical reagents. It was formerly regarded as a definite compound, but is now known to be a complex mixture of several higher hydrocarbons of the methane or marsh-gas series; hence, by extension, any substance, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, of the same chemical series; thus gasoline, coal gas and kerosene consist largely of
- n. a series of non-aromatic saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH(2n+2)
- n. (British usage) kerosine
- n. from crude petroleum; used for candles and for preservative or waterproof coatings
- Latin paraffinum from parum (too little) + affinis (related, affinity). Therefore low affinity or being chemically neutral (Wiktionary)
- German : Latin parum, little, not very; + Latin affīnis, associated with (from its lack of affinity with other materials); see affined. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I bought a chunk of paraffin from the canning-supplies section of a grocery store more than 15 years ago and haven't even come close to using 1/4 of it yet.”
“Moreover, it was known that ligation of the ducts of the pancreas, or their injection by oil or paraffin, is not followed by diabetes.”
“The next and the most important derivative is the petroleum oil, used for burning in paraffin-lamps.”
“You have seen boxes of hard, smooth, white candles with the name paraffin marked on the cover.”
“October 28th, 2009 at 3: 13 am seems like paraffin is generally accepted as non toxic it was used to seal preserves for years and i think it is the basis for the wax they put on most fruits and veggies at the big markets. is it totally harmless? probably not but seems like there are bigger concerns that the toxisity of parrafin. the flamability does seem like a potential issue but if it is sealed from O2 then that is proabaly not a concern either.”
“In early 1924, Blau attempted to observe recoil protons produced by alpha particles in paraffin.”
“The same effect can be sustained for longer by attaching a chicken wire cage to a chain, filling it with wire wool and dipping it in paraffin.”
“The practice of mixing diesel with paraffin, which is duty-free, cost the government an estimated R300-million to R500-million a year in lost revenue, Ravele told reporters.”
“Manuel announced in February that paraffin, which is widely used by poor people for heating and lighting, would be zero-rated for VAT purposes, thereby cutting the fuel's price by about 40 cents a litre.”
“The situation is as bad for the urban poor, who don't own cars but cook with paraffin, which is just has hard to get.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘paraffin’.
It's an odd-looking pattern in English. Please add words if it makes you happy. :) K-POW! Wow @gulyasrobi!
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
All these terms have a (different) American English equivalent. Wonder if you can identify them?
Feel free to wax poetic.
Candles, candle-making; photometry, and a couple of oily fish used as light sources.
Looking for tweets for paraffin.