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paraffin

paraffin, white, more-or-less translucent, odorless, tasteless, waxy solid. It melts between 47°C and 65°C and is insoluble in water but soluble in ether, benzene, and certain esters. Paraffin is unaffected by most common chemical reagents but burns readily in air. Obtained from petroleum during refining, it is used in candles, for coating paper, and for various other purposes. Chemically, paraffin is a mixture of high-molecular-weight alkanes, i.e., saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2, where n is an integer between 22 and 27.

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paraffin

par·af·fin / ˈparəfin/ • n. (also paraffin wax) a flammable, whitish, translucent, waxy solid consisting of a mixture of saturated hydrocarbons, obtained by distillation from petroleum or shale and used in candles, cosmetics, polishes, and sealing and waterproofing compounds. ∎  (also paraffin oil or liquid paraffin) Brit. a colorless, flammable, oily liquid similarly obtained and used as fuel, esp. kerosene. ∎ Chem. old-fashioned term for alkane.

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paraffin

paraffin (kerosene) Common domestic fuel that is mainly a mixture of alkane hydrocarbons. It is a product of the distillation of petroleum. Less volatile than petrol, paraffin is also used as a fuel for jet aircraft. Paraffin wax is a white, translucent, waxy substance consisting of a mixture of solid alkanes obtained by solvent extraction; it is used to make candles, waxed paper, polishes and cosmetics.

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paraffin

paraffin (pa-ră-fin) n. one of a series of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. liquid p. a mineral oil, which has been used as a laxative. soft p. a white or yellow mixture of hydrocarbons used in medicine as a base for ointments and to impregnate dressings to prevent them from adhering to wounds. Combined with liquid paraffin, it is used as a lubricant for dry eyes.

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paraffin

paraffin orig. colourless or white substance being a mixture of hydrocarbons; spec. a hydrocarbon of the methane series (p. oil, kerosene). XIX. — G., f. L. parum too little, barely + affinis related; so named with ref. to its neutral quality and the small affinity it possesses for other bodies.

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paraffin

paraffin •Aladdin • stand-in •Dunedin, lead-in •Blondin, Girondin •Odin •paladin, Saladin •Borodin • Baffin • elfin •biffin, griffin, tiffin •boffin, coffin •dolphin • endorphin • bowfin •yellowfin •muffin, puffin •ragamuffin • paraffin • perfin •bargain • Begin • Kosygin •hoggin, noggin •imagine • margin • engine •pidgin, pigeon, smidgen, wigeon •stool pigeon • wood pigeon • origin •Pugin • virgin

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