Meaning of PARAFFIN in English


I. ˈparəfə̇n also ˈper- noun

also par·af·fine “ also -ˌfēn

( -s )

Etymology: German paraffin, from Latin parum too little + affinis bordering on, related by marriage; akin to paucus, few, little — more at few , affinity


a. or paraffin wax : a waxy crystalline substance that is white, translucent, odorless, and tasteless when pure, that is obtained especially from distillates of wood, coal, or now usually petroleum or shale oil, that is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons principally of the methane series, that is resistant to water and water vapor and is chemically inert, and that is used chiefly in coating and sealing, in making candles, in impregnating matches, in rubber compounding, in electrical insulation, and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics — called also hard paraffin ; compare ceresin , microcrystalline wax , scale wax , slack wax

b. : any of various mixtures of similar hydrocarbons including mixtures that are semisolid or oily

soft paraffin

— compare liquid petrolatum , petrolatum

2. or paraffin hydrocarbon : a hydrocarbon of the methane series : alkane

3. chiefly Britain : kerosene

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to treat, coat, or saturate with paraffin : apply paraffin to

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.