- a white, waxy, odorless, tasteless solid substance consisting of a mixture of straight-chain, saturated hydrocarbons: it is obtained chiefly from the distillation of petroleum and is used for making candles, sealing preserving jars, waterproofing paper, etc.
- Chem. any alkane
- Brit. kerosene
Ger < L parum, too little + affinis, akin (see affinity): from its chemical inertness
to coat or impregnate with paraffin