paraffin

noun
par·​af·​fin | \ ˈper-ə-fən How to pronounce paraffin (audio) , ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of paraffin

1a : a waxy crystalline flammable substance obtained especially from distillates of wood, coal, petroleum, or shale oil that is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and is used chiefly in coating and sealing, in candles, in rubber compounding, and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
b : any of various mixtures of similar hydrocarbons including mixtures that are semisolid or oily
2 : alkane
3 chiefly British : kerosene

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Other Words from paraffin

paraffinic \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈfi-​nik How to pronounce paraffin (audio) , pa-​rə-​ \ adjective

Examples of paraffin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Made of a natural paraffin and soy blend in addition to a special enzyme formulation, this candle is adept at removing strong odors like cigarette, cigar, and pet odors. Tim Kohut, BGR, 26 May 2021 The researchers were able to use volatile fatty acids from fermenting old food waste and convert it to simple paraffin molecules that can be used in fuel and really aren’t all that different chemically from traditional fossil fuels. Popular Science, 16 Mar. 2021 Light up your evenings with Diptyque’s aromatic gardenia candle, a high-quality vegetable-and-paraffin wax mix with cotton wick. Laura Manske, Forbes, 12 Mar. 2021 Other possibilities exist, such as polyethylene or paraffin waxes, Kargel said. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, 16 Dec. 2010 Beeswax is a denser, all-natural material that burns longer than both paraffin and soy. Allen Foster, chicagotribune.com, 22 Jan. 2021 There is debate over whether burning paraffin is safe or not, but to date, the studies on each side are inconclusive. Allen Foster, chicagotribune.com, 22 Jan. 2021 Pink pepper and sage balsam soy-paraffin blend candle, $88. Kara Nelson | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, 13 Oct. 2020 One morning, Alma stands by as a plumber digs up her paraffin tank. Megan Evershed, The New Republic, 18 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paraffin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of paraffin

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for paraffin

German, from Latin parum too little (akin to Greek pauros little, paid-, pais child) + affinis bordering on — more at few, affinity

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Learn More About paraffin

Time Traveler for paraffin

Time Traveler

The first known use of paraffin was in 1835

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Statistics for paraffin

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paraffin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paraffin. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for paraffin

paraffin

noun

English Language Learners Definition of paraffin

: a soft, waxy substance that is usually made from petroleum or coal and is used in candles and other products

paraffin

noun
par·​af·​fin | \ ˈper-ə-fən How to pronounce paraffin (audio) \

Kids Definition of paraffin

: a white waxy substance obtained from wood, coal, or petroleum and used in coating and sealing and in candles

paraffin

noun
par·​af·​fin | \ ˈpar-ə-fən How to pronounce paraffin (audio) \

Medical Definition of paraffin

1a : a waxy crystalline flammable substance obtained especially from distillates of wood, coal, petroleum, or shale oil that is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and is used chiefly in coating and sealing, in candles, in rubber compounding, and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
b : any of various mixtures of similar hydrocarbons including mixtures that are semisolid or oily
2 : alkane

Other Words from paraffin

paraffinic \ ˌpar-​ə-​ˈfin-​ik How to pronounce paraffin (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on paraffin

Nglish: Translation of paraffin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about paraffin

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