paraffin

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noun par·af·fin \ˈper-ə-fən, ˈpa-rə-\

Definition of paraffin

  1. 1 a :  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. 2 :  alkane

  3. 3 chiefly British :  kerosene

paraffinic

play \ˌper-ə-ˈfi-nik, pa-rə-\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of paraffin

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


First Known Use: 1838


PARAFFIN Defined for English Language Learners

paraffin

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noun par·af·fin \ˈper-ə-fən, ˈpa-rə-\

Definition of paraffin for English Language Learners

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


PARAFFIN Defined for Kids

paraffin

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noun par·af·fin \ˈper-ə-fən\

Definition of paraffin for Students

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


Medical Dictionary

paraffin

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noun par·af·fin \ˈpar-ə-fən\

Medical Definition of paraffin

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

  2. 2:  alkane

paraffinic

\ˌpar-ə-ˈfin-ik\play adjective

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