Definitions

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

  • noun A brown, fatty, waxlike substance that forms on dead animal tissues in response to moisture.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A soft unctuous or waxy substance, of a light-brown color, produced by the decomposition of animal matter when protected from the air, and under certain conditions of temperature and humidity. It consists chiefly of ammonium margarate, with an admixture of the margarates of potassium and calcium.

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

  • noun A soft, unctuous, or waxy substance, of a light brown color, into which the fat and muscle tissue of dead bodies sometimes are converted, by long immersion in water or by burial in moist places. It is a result of fatty degeneration.

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

  • noun A brown, fatty, waxy substance (fatty acids) that forms on dead animal tissues in response to hydrolysis

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[adipo(se) + Latin cēra, wax.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From adipo- + Latin cēra

Examples

  • Much more rarely, the fetus is converted into a yellowish, greasy mass to which the term adipocere is applied.

    The Well-Timed Period

  • This greasy, sometimes waxy substance is known as adipocere, or grave wax.

    Break No Bones

  • Corpses of infants and overweight persons are particularly prone to adipocere transformation.

    A Bit of Soap

  • Grave wax (adipocere) tends to be a strange substance, smooth and, when it's had time, relatively hard and brittle (not always; it depends on the conditions).

    A Bit of Soap

  • Grave wax (adipocere) tends to be a strange substance, smooth and, when it's had time, relatively hard and brittle (not always; it depends on the conditions).

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Corpses of infants and overweight persons are particularly prone to adipocere transformation.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Nora turned back to the body and studied the edges of the flesh where the right leg must have been submerged in water; the visible tendons and ligaments looked frayed, and she could see a layer of adipocere beneath the skin—ordinary body fat transformed into a yellowish, waxy material—a common feature of preserved remains.

    FALSE MERMAID

  • Nora turned back to the body and studied the edges of the flesh where the right leg must have been submerged in water; the visible tendons and ligaments looked frayed, and she could see a layer of adipocere beneath the skin—ordinary body fat transformed into a yellowish, waxy material—a common feature of preserved remains.

    FALSE MERMAID

  • “Enveloped in adipocere packing the basicranium, below the palate.”

    Spider Bones

  • OMG–I totally thought that was a corpse converted to adipocere.

    Regretsy – Button Honey

Comments

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

  • Colloquially known as grave wax.

    September 23, 2008