from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A resinous preparation of shellac and turpentine that is soft and fluid when heated but solidifies upon cooling, used to seal letters, batteries, or jars.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Shellac and rosin melted with turpentine, colored with suitable coloring matters, usually vermilion, and run into molds: used for making seals.
  • Resembling red sealing-wax: specifically said of the peculiar tips of the feathers of the waxwings. See waxwing, Ampelis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • A compound of the resinous materials, pigments, etc., used as a material for seals, as for letters, documents, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Wax formerly melted onto a letter to seal it; the picture of the sender's seal was often pressed into the wax as evidence that the letter had not been opened.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word sealing wax.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Sealing wax was used to seal "letters close" and later (from about the 16th century) envelopes. It was also used to take the impression of seals on important documents, or to create a hermetic seal on containers. Now mainly used for decorative purposes, it was formerly used to ensure that the contents of the envelope were secure.


    January 25, 2008

  • It's a good thing to talk about, especially with shoes, ships, cabbages, and kings.

    January 26, 2008

  • Hmm, so we weren't singing about Puff and ceiling wax?

    January 26, 2008