Meaning of PETROLATUM in English


ˌpe.trəˈlād.əm, -läd.- noun

( -s )

Etymology: New Latin, from Medieval Latin petroleum + New Latin -atum -ate

: a neutral unctuous substance that is practically odorless and tasteless and is insoluble in water, that is obtained from petroleum and differs chemically from paraffin wax in containing unsaturated hydrocarbons or naphthenes as well as hydrocarbons of the methane series, and that is produced in several forms: as

a. : a yellowish to light amber semisolid mass obtained in various ways (as by purifying the residue from the distillation of petroleum or by dewaxing heavy lubricating oils) and used chiefly as a base for ointments and cosmetics, as a protective dressing (as for burns), and in lubricating greases — called also petroleum jelly, yellow petrolatum, yellow soft paraffin ; compare microcrystalline wax , mineral jelly

b. : a white or faintly yellowish mass obtained by decolorizing yellow petrolatum and used similarly to it — called also white petrolatum, white petroleum jelly, white soft paraffin

c. : liquid petrolatum

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