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Very hard wax obtained from fronds of the carnauba tree, Copernicia cerifera, a fan palm of Brazil. During the regular dry seasons in Brazil, where it is called the tree of life, the carnauba palm protects its fanlike fronds from loss of moisture by secreting a coat of carnauba wax. Carnauba has been used in high-gloss polishes, phonograph records, and explosives. Synthetics have replaced it for many applications.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on carnauba wax, visit Britannica.com.