a white, waxlike substance taken from the oil in the head of a sperm whale or dolphin, used in making cosmetics, ointments, candles, etc.
Origin of spermacetiMedieval Latin sperma ceti, literally , whale sperm from Late Latin sperma, sperm + Classical Latin ceti, genitive of cetus, whale from Classical Greek k?tos
A white waxy substance obtained chiefly from the head of the sperm whale, consisting of various esters of fatty acids and formerly used for making candles, ointments, and cosmetics.
Origin of spermacetiMiddle English from Medieval Latin spermacētī Late Latin sperma semen ; see sperm 1. Latin cētī genitive of cētus whale ; see Cetus .