- a pearly white, waxy, translucent solid, obtained from the oil in the head of the sperm whale: used chiefly in cosmetics and candles, and as an emollient.
Origin of spermaceti
Also called cetaceum.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spermaceti
Spermaceti ointment is simple and well adapted for the purpose.
Spermaceti is pulverised as camphor, by the aid of a few drops of spirit.
Spermaceti ointment is simple and well adapted to this purpose.Our Deportment
John H. Young
Spermaceti is constantly added to the white wax of commerce, to improve its colour.
Spermaceti experimented with in the same manner gave striking results.Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1
- a white waxy substance obtained from oil from the head of the sperm whale: used in cosmetics, candles, ointments, etc
C15: from Medieval Latin sperma cētī whale's sperm, from sperma sperm 1 + Latin cētus whale, from Greek kētos
- A white, waxy substance that is obtained from the head of the sperm whale and sometimes other whales, porpoises, and dolphins, and was once widely used to make candles, ointments, and cosmetics. Spermaceti is a liquid at body temperature and consists primarily of fatty alcohols and esters of fatty acids. Spermaceti is produced by the spermaceti organ, a huge melon-shaped sac that may function as a battering ram in aggressive behavior between males.
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