Definitions

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

  • n. See earwax.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Earwax.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The yellow, waxlike secretion from the glands of the external ear; the earwax.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Ear-wax; the wax-like substance secreted by numerous glands situated in the external meatus of the ear.

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

  • n. a soft yellow wax secreted by glands in the ear canal

Etymologies

New Latin, from Latin cēra, wax; see cerate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The outer part of the ear canal secretes earwax, officially called cerumen, in order to trap water, dust, and bacteria.

    DIY Ear-cleaning Guide

  • Ear wax, which is clinically referred to as cerumen, has many purposes which include cleaning and lubricating the ear canal, antimicrobrial properties, anti-fungal properties, and it has been suggested that it acts as an insect repellant.

    SunHerald.com: Featured Story

  • The skincovering the outer part of the ear canalcontains special glands that produce ear wax, a sticky, waxy substance also known as cerumen which is different [...]

    2008 May | ScienceJunkies.com

  • The skincovering the outer part of the ear canalcontains special glands that produce ear wax, a sticky, waxy substance also known as cerumen which is different from candle wax (paraffin).

    Ear Wax

  • Rob over at Musings of a Distractible Mind was writing about ear wax -- also known as "cerumen" to those of us in the med biz -- and I was reminded of a nifty answer I came up with to one of my kids' questions several years back.

    Speaking of Ear Wax

  • 252 THE HUMAN BRAIN soft, waxy material called cerumen (see-roo'men; "wax" L), though earwax is its common name.

    The Human Brain

  • She delicately scrapes cerumen from sleeping people's ears.

    The Littlest Terrorist

  • I would be most pleased by discussions of such phenomena as the extraction of impacted cerumen, the holes left after teeth have been pulled, and perhaps the process of extracting a very long green bean from a nostril.

    Our Bodies, Our Flock: Mucus | clusterflock

  • Asians, Inuit and Native North Americans have predominantly dry earwax, as they have a gene that prevents cerumen from mixing with their earwax.

    Boing Boing: January 29, 2006 - February 4, 2006 Archives

  • They found that many East Asians have a mutation in this gene that prevents cerumen, the molecule that makes earwax wet, from entering the mix.

    Boing Boing: January 29, 2006 - February 4, 2006 Archives

Comments

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  • *feels vaguely nauseated*

    April 7, 2008

  • Does that mean that the cholesterol in your ears is actually siphoning it off from your bloodstream? Like, the more bacon cheeseburgers you eat, the more cerumen you produce?

    April 7, 2008

  • One of the primary ingredients of earwax is cholesterol. Indeed, I read somewhere that earwax represents the highest concentration of cholesterol anywhere in the body. Is this at all comforting to those who have been told to reduce their cholesterol levels, I wonder? Probably not.

    April 6, 2008

  • I kid you not. This is earstuff.

    February 23, 2007

  • Dude. I thought ear wax was just called ear wax. This doesn't *sound* like it means ear wax at all. It sounds like some kind of nice blue color, or else a substance used in drugs and obtained from plants or something. Like, a dyestuff.

    Gawd, I *hope* they don't use ear wax as a dyestuff...

    February 23, 2007

  • Ear wax. Yuck.

    February 23, 2007