- Wax is a sticky substance that is made from honeycomb or any substance with a similar feel.
- An example of wax is the substance produced by a burning candle.
- An example of wax is what you clean out of your ears with a cotton swab.
- To wax is to polish something using a special substance designed for shining or protecting or to remove unwanted hair by applying a warmed sticky substance to it and then using paper to pull off the hairs that stick to the substance.
- An example of wax is when you apply polish to the floor or to your car.
- An example of wax is when you remove unwanted eyebrow hair by pulling it out.
A woman applying wax to her car.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- a plastic, dull-yellow substance secreted by bees for building cells; beeswax: it is hard when cold and easily molded when warm, melts at c. 64.4°C (c. 148°F), cannot be dissolved in water, and is used for candles, modeling, etc.
- any plastic substance like this; specif.,
- a waxlike substance exuded by the ears; earwax; cerumen
- a waxy substance produced by scale insects
- any waxlike substance yielded by plants or animals
- a resinous substance used by shoemakers to rub on thread
- sealing wax
- any of a group of substances with a waxy appearance made up variously of esters, fatty acids, free alcohols, and solid hydrocarbons
Origin: from the wax cylinders formerly used for recording soundInformal a phonograph record: once common in , to make a phonograph record of
Origin: Middle English from Old English weax, akin to German wachs from Indo-European an unverified form wokso- from an unverified form weg-, to weave, probably from base an unverified form (a)we-, to weave
- to rub, polish, cover, smear, or treat with wax
- to remove unwanted hair from (the body) by applying a hot waxy substance
- Informal to make a phonograph record of
- to grow gradually larger, more numerous, etc.; increase in strength, intensity, volume, etc.: said esp. of the visible face of the moon during the phases after new moon in which the lighted portion is gradually increasing from a thin crescent on the right, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere
- Literary to become; grow: to wax angry
- to speak or express oneself: he waxed on and on about his prowess
Origin: Middle English waxen from Old English weaxan, to grow, akin to German wachsen from Indo-European an unverified form aweks- from base an unverified form aweg-, an unverified form aug- from source eke, Classical Latin augere, Glassical Greek auxein, to increase
Origin: from uncertain or unknown; perhaps wax, as inch(es) phrase wax angry
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- a. Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.b. Beeswax.c. Cerumen.
- a. A solid plastic or pliable liquid substance, such as ozocerite or paraffin, originating from petroleum and found in rock layers and used in paper coating, as insulation, in crayons, and often in medicinal preparations.b. A preparation containing wax used for polishing floors and other surfaces.
- A resinous mixture used by shoemakers to rub on thread.
- A phonograph record.
- Something suggestive of wax in being impressionable or readily molded.
- To coat, treat, or polish with wax.
- Informal To make a phonograph record of.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English weax.
intransitive verb waxed waxed, wax·ing, wax·es
- To increase gradually in size, number, strength, or intensity.
- To show a progressively larger illuminated area, as the moon does in passing from new to full.
- To grow or become as specified: “could afford … to wax sentimental over their heritage” (John Simon).
Origin: Middle English waxen, from Old English weaxan; see aug- in Indo-European roots.
wax - Ologies & -Isms Definition
wax - Medical Definition
- Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents.
- A solid plastic or pliable liquid substance, such as paraffin, originating from petroleum and found in rock layers and often used in medicinal preparations.
wax - Phrases/Idioms
wax - Science Definition
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