wax

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wax,

substance secreted by glands on the abdomen of the bee and known commonly as beeswax; also various substances resembling beeswax. Waxes are mixtures comprising chiefly esters of monohydroxy alcohols, besides other esters and free fatty acids, free alcohols, and higher hydrocarbons. They differ from fats in that fats contain chiefly esters of glycerol. Waxes are generally harder and less greasy than fats, but like fats they are less dense than water and are soluble in alcohol and ether but not in water. Among the waxes derived from plants are carnauba wax, obtained from the leaves of a palmpalm,
common name for members of the Palmae, a large family of chiefly tropical trees, shrubs, and vines. Most species are treelike, characterized by a crown of compound leaves, called fronds, terminating a tall, woody, unbranched stem.
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 grown in Brazil, and candelilla wax, produced by a Mexican plant (Euphorbia antisyphilitica). Those of animal origin include wool wax, or lanolin, obtained from the surface of wool fibers and used in making certain creams, ointments, and soaps, in the processes of finishing and softening leather, and as an ingredient of some paints and varnishes; spermacetispermaceti
, solid waxy substance, white, odorless, and tasteless, separated from the oils obtained from the sperm whale (see sperm oil) and other marine mammals. A mixture of esters of fatty acids, it is composed chiefly of cetyl palmitate.
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, obtained from the sperm whale, and Chinese wax, which is deposited on certain trees in parts of Asia (especially China and India) by a species of scale insect. Mineral waxes include ozocerite and paraffinparaffin,
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.
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, both composed of hydrocarbons. Japan wax and bayberry (or myrtle) wax are composed chiefly of fats.

Bibliography

See L. Roth and J. Weiner, Waxes, Waxing and Wax Modifiers (1961); H. Bennett, Industrial Waxes (2 vol., 1963); P. E. Kolattukudy, ed., Chemistry and Biochemistry of Natural Waxes (1976).

wax

[waks]
(materials)
Any of a group of substances resembling beeswax in appearance and character, and in general distinguished by their composition of esters and higher alcohols, and by their freedom from fatty acids.

wax

A thermoplastic solid material obtained from vegetable, mineral, and animal matter; soluble in organic solvents; used in paste or liquid form as a protective coating or polish on wood and metal surfaces and as an additive in paints.

wax

1. any of various viscous or solid materials of natural origin: characteristically lustrous, insoluble in water, and having a low softening temperature, they consist largely of esters of fatty acids
2. any of various similar substances, such as paraffin wax or ozocerite, that have a mineral origin and consist largely of hydrocarbons
3. short for beeswax, sealing wax
4. Physiol another name for cerumen
5. a resinous preparation used by shoemakers to rub on thread
6. bone wax a mixture of wax, oil, and carbolic acid applied to the cut surface of a bone to prevent bleeding
References in periodicals archive ?
And now, a heap of roses beside the sea, white rugosa beside the foaming hem of shore: brave, waxen candles .
The two "self-confessed dirty rotten scoundrels" do much more than waxen twist their moustaches - they mix brainbusting illusion and good old-fashioned tomfoolery.
The legend of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and lost his wings when their waxen fittings melted, plays through the piece as a poetic commentary on a commuter flight to Cleveland (on Current Airlines) on which total strangers, mainly in internal monologues, share their fears.
A promise under seal involved a writing, delivery, and in lieu of witnesses a waxen image of the donor's signet ring, which was difficult to counterfeit.
This sculptural work consists of functionally ambiguous, dark-tinted acrylic constructions paired with a mound of floral foam bedecked with the waxen foliage of a boxwood plant.
40) Early in 1579, they ordered special interrogation of witches at Windsor thought to have killed several people using waxen images, to see if they had any knowledge relevant to a recently discovered "practise of that device very likely intended to the destruction of her Majesty's person.
The exhibition, Idriss told The Daily Star, is something of a waxen climax to his time in Lebanon.
CYPRUS' economy was like the mythological figure Icarus, whose waxen wings melted when he flew too close to the sun, a European official said on Monday, describing the state of affairs that led to the economic collapse, forcing the island to seek a bailout.
Focusing on the way skin picks up light: chalky matte, balmily waxen or with a dem/glow--and often within the realm of a singular face.
DAVID REED The Emperor's Golden Silken Army Knew your guilt Your white waxen face, Raven hair, almond eyes and ruby lips.
It's not that these things don't surface from time to time--they do, to take one example, in Stoltzfus's claim that Hemingway appropriates Gustave Flaubert's image of Emma as a waxen statue for the closing of A Farewell to Arms.
in the delicate imaginative beauty of the first, the waxen chiaroscuro of the second, we cannot help feeling how far Leonardo's theories on painting led him away from our affections'.