Physeter macrocephalus
Ambergris Am"ber*gris ([a^]m"b[~e]r*gr[=e]s), n. [F. ambre gris, i. e., gray amber; F. gris gray, which is of German origin: cf. OS. gr[^i]s, G. greis, gray-haired. See {Amber}.] A substance of the consistence of wax, found floating in the Indian Ocean and other parts of the tropics, and also as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale ({Physeter macrocephalus}), which is believed to be in all cases its true origin. In color it is white, ash-gray, yellow, or black, and often variegated like marble. The floating masses are sometimes from sixty to two hundred and twenty-five pounds in weight. It is wholly volatilized as a white vapor at 212[deg] Fahrenheit, and is highly valued in perfumery. --Dana. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Physeter macrocephalus —   Cachalote …   Wikipedia Español

  • Physeter macrocephalus — Grand Cachalot Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cachalot (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Physeter macrocephalus — Sperm whale Sperm whale (Zo[ o]l.) A very large toothed whale ({Physeter macrocephalus}), having a head of enormous size. The upper jaw is destitute of teeth. In the upper part of the head, above the skull, there is a large cavity, or case,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Physeter macrocephalus — cachalot cach a*lot, n. [F. cachalot.] (Zo[ o]l.) The sperm whale ({Physeter macrocephalus}). It has in the top of its head a large cavity, containing an oily fluid, which, after death, concretes into a whitish crystalline substance called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Physeter macrocephalus — El cachalote o ballena de esperma (Physeter macrocephalus) es la más grande de las ballenas dentadas y, asimismo, el animal dentado más grande del mundo. El nombre de ballena esperma proviene de una sustancia blanquecina spermaceti que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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