(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.
old-fashioned term for alkane.
•Aladdin • stand-in
•Borodin • Baffin • elfin
, griffin, tiffin
•dolphin • endorphin • bowfin
•ragamuffin • paraffin • perfin
•bargain • Begin • Kosygin
•imagine • margin • engine
, pigeon, smidgen, wigeon
•stool pigeon • wood pigeon • origin
•Pugin • virgin
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.
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.
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.