paraffin

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

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.

views updated

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

views updated

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.

views updated

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.

views updated

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.

More From Encyclopedia.com


MORE ON THIS TOPIC