Wax Wax, n. [AS. weax; akin to OFries. wax, D. was, G. wachs, OHG. wahs, Icel. & Sw. vax, Dan. vox, Lith. vaszkas, Russ. vosk'.] [1913 Webster] 1. A fatty, solid substance, produced by bees, and employed by them in the construction of their comb; -- usually called {beeswax}. It is first excreted, from a row of pouches along their sides, in the form of scales, which, being masticated and mixed with saliva, become whitened and tenacious. Its natural color is pale or dull yellow. [1913 Webster]

Note: Beeswax consists essentially of cerotic acid (constituting the more soluble part) and of myricyl palmitate (constituting the less soluble part). [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, any substance resembling beeswax in consistency or appearance. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) (Physiol.) Cerumen, or earwax. See {Cerumen}. [1913 Webster] (b) A waxlike composition used for uniting surfaces, for excluding air, and for other purposes; as, sealing wax, grafting wax, etching wax, etc. [1913 Webster] (c) A waxlike composition used by shoemakers for rubbing their thread. [1913 Webster] (d) (Zo["o]l.) A substance similar to beeswax, secreted by several species of scale insects, as the Chinese wax. See {Wax insect}, below. [1913 Webster] (e) (Bot.) A waxlike product secreted by certain plants. See {Vegetable wax}, under {Vegetable}. [1913 Webster] (f) (Min.) A substance, somewhat resembling wax, found in connection with certain deposits of rock salt and coal; -- called also mineral wax, and ozocerite. [1913 Webster] (g) Thick sirup made by boiling down the sap of the sugar maple, and then cooling. [Local U. S.] [1913 Webster] (h) any of numerous substances or mixtures composed predominantly of the longer-chain saturated hydrocarbons such as the paraffins, which are solid at room teperature, or their alcohol, carboxylic acid, or ester derivatives. [PJC]

{Japanese wax}, a waxlike substance made in Japan from the berries of certain species of {Rhus}, esp. {Rhus succedanea}.

{Mineral wax}. (Min.) See {Wax}, 2 (f), above.

{Wax cloth}. See {Waxed cloth}, under {Waxed}.

{Wax end}. See {Waxed end}, under {Waxed}.

{Wax flower}, a flower made of, or resembling, wax.

{Wax insect} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of scale insects belonging to the family {Coccid[ae]}, which secrete from their bodies a waxlike substance, especially the Chinese wax insect ({Coccus Sinensis}) from which a large amount of the commercial Chinese wax is obtained. Called also {pela}.

{Wax light}, a candle or taper of wax.

{Wax moth} (Zo["o]l.), a pyralid moth ({Galleria cereana}) whose larv[ae] feed upon honeycomb, and construct silken galleries among the fragments. The moth has dusky gray wings streaked with brown near the outer edge. The larva is yellowish white with brownish dots. Called also {bee moth}.

{Wax myrtle}. (Bot.) See {Bayberry}.

{Wax painting}, a kind of painting practiced by the ancients, under the name of encaustic. The pigments were ground with wax, and diluted. After being applied, the wax was melted with hot irons and the color thus fixed.

{Wax palm}. (Bot.) (a) A species of palm ({Ceroxylon Andicola}) native of the Andes, the stem of which is covered with a secretion, consisting of two thirds resin and one third wax, which, when melted with a third of fat, makes excellent candles. (b) A Brazilian tree ({Copernicia cerifera}) the young leaves of which are covered with a useful waxy secretion.

{Wax paper}, paper prepared with a coating of white wax and other ingredients.

{Wax plant} (Bot.), a name given to several plants, as: (a) The Indian pipe (see under {Indian}). (b) The {Hoya carnosa}, a climbing plant with polished, fleshy leaves. (c) Certain species of {Begonia} with similar foliage.

{Wax tree} (Bot.) (a) A tree or shrub ({Ligustrum lucidum}) of China, on which certain insects make a thick deposit of a substance resembling white wax. (b) A kind of sumac ({Rhus succedanea}) of Japan, the berries of which yield a sort of wax. (c) A rubiaceous tree ({El[ae]agia utilis}) of New Grenada, called by the inhabitants ``arbol del cera.''

{Wax yellow}, a dull yellow, resembling the natural color of beeswax. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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