wax

noun (1)
\ ˈwaks How to pronounce wax (audio) \

Definition of wax

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : a substance that is secreted by bees and is used by them for constructing the honeycomb, that is a dull yellow solid plastic when warm, and that is composed primarily of a mixture of esters, hydrocarbons, and fatty acids : beeswax
2 : any of various substances resembling the wax of bees: such as
a : any of numerous substances of plant or animal origin that differ from fats in being less greasy, harder, and more brittle and in containing principally compounds of high molecular weight (such as fatty acids, alcohols, and saturated hydrocarbons)
b : a solid substance (such as ozokerite or paraffin wax) of mineral origin consisting usually of hydrocarbons of high molecular weight
c : a pliable or liquid composition used especially in uniting surfaces, excluding air, making patterns or impressions, or producing a polished surface
3 : something likened to wax as soft, impressionable, or readily molded
4 : a waxy secretion especially : earwax
5 : a phonograph recording

wax

verb (1)
waxed; waxing; waxes

Definition of wax (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to treat or rub with wax usually for polishing, stiffening, or reducing friction
b : to apply wax to as a depilatory getting her legs waxed
2 : to record on phonograph records
3 slang : to defeat decisively (as in an athletic contest)

wax

verb (2)
waxed; waxing; waxes

Definition of wax (Entry 3 of 5)

intransitive verb

1a : to increase in size, numbers, strength, prosperity, or intensity
b : to grow in volume or duration
c : to grow toward full development
2 : to increase in phase or intensity used chiefly of the moon, other satellites, and inferior planets
3 : to assume a (specified) characteristic, quality, or state : become wax indignant wax poetic

wax

noun (2)

Definition of wax (Entry 4 of 5)

: increase, growth usually used in the phrase on the wax

wax

noun (3)

Definition of wax (Entry 5 of 5)

: a fit of temper : rage

Other Words from wax

Noun (1)

waxlike \ ˈwaks-​ˌlīk How to pronounce wax (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of wax

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wax

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English weax; akin to Old High German wahs wax, Lithuanian vaškas

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English weaxan; akin to Old High German wahsan to increase, Greek auxanein, Latin augēre — more at eke

Noun (3)

perhaps from wax entry 3

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Time Traveler for wax

Time Traveler

The first known use of wax was before the 12th century

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Statistics for wax

Cite this Entry

“Wax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wax. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for wax

wax

noun
\ ˈwaks How to pronounce wax (audio) \

Kids Definition of wax

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a yellowish sticky substance made by bees and used in building the honeycomb : beeswax
2 : a material (as paraffin) that resembles the wax made by bees (as by being soft and easily molded when warm)

wax

verb
waxed; waxing

Kids Definition of wax (Entry 2 of 3)

: to treat or polish with wax

wax

verb
waxed; waxing

Kids Definition of wax (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to grow larger or stronger The moon waxes and then wanes.
2 : become sense 1, grow She waxed nostalgic at the reunion.

wax

noun
\ ˈwaks How to pronounce wax (audio) \

Medical Definition of wax

1 : a substance that is secreted by bees and is used by them for constructing the honeycomb, that is a dull yellow solid plastic when warm, and that is composed of a mixture of esters, cerotic acid, and hydrocarbons

called also beeswax

2 : any of various substances resembling beeswax: as
a : any of numerous substances of plant or animal origin that differ from fats in being less greasy, harder, and more brittle and in containing principally compounds of high molecular weight (as fatty acids, alcohols, and saturated hydrocarbons)
b : a pliable or liquid composition used especially in uniting surfaces, excluding air, making patterns or impressions, or producing a polished surface dental waxes
3 : a waxy secretion especially : earwax

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