Origin of waxen1
- a past participle of wax2.
- Also called beeswax. a solid, yellowish, nonglycerine substance allied to fats and oils, secreted by bees, plastic when warm and melting at about 145°F, variously employed in making candles, models, casts, ointments, etc., and used by bees in constructing their honeycomb.
- any of various similar substances, as spermaceti or the secretions of certain insects and plants.Compare vegetable wax, wax insect.
- any of a group of substances composed of hydrocarbons, alcohols, fatty acids, and esters that are solid at ordinary temperatures.
- cerumen; earwax.
- a resinous substance used by shoemakers for rubbing thread.
- sealing wax.
- a person or object suggesting wax, as in manageability or malleability: I am helpless wax in your hands.
- to rub, smear, stiffen, polish, etc., with wax: to wax the floor.
- to fill the crevices of (ornamental marble) with colored material.
- bikini wax.
- Informal. to make a phonograph recording of.
- Slang. to defeat decisively; drub: We waxed the competition.
- pertaining to, made of, or resembling wax: a wax candle; a wax doll.
- whole ball of wax, Slang.
- the entire or overall plan, concept, action, result, or the like: The first ten minutes of the meeting will determine the whole ball of wax.
- everything of a similar or related nature: They sold us skis, boots, bindings, poles—the whole ball of wax.
Origin of wax1
- to increase in extent, quantity, intensity, power, etc.: Discord waxed at an alarming rate.
- (of the moon) to increase in the extent of its illuminated portion before the full moon.Compare wane(def 4).
- to grow or become: He waxed angry at the insinuation.
Origin of wax2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for waxen
A waxen young woman stands in silence at an underground railway platform.‘Shadow Dancer’ Explores Post-Thatcher’s London During the Troubles
May 31, 2013
All the waxen face was already dead, the eyes only were still living.Doctor Pascal
The waxen image is at its feet, as a suppliant, and awaiting only death.The Phantom World
Tis but fancy, which is to love as the waxen image to the living man.Clare Avery
Emily Sarah Holt
It was the yellowish, waxen face of Mrs. Silsbee that had been uncovered.A Waif of the Plains
What are the people doing in the dark, with the waxen images and the horrid crucifixes?The Promised Land
- made of, treated with, or covered with wax
- resembling wax in colour or texture
- archaic a past participle of wax 2
- any of various viscous or solid materials of natural origin: characteristically lustrous, insoluble in water, and having a low softening temperature, they consist largely of esters of fatty acids
- any of various similar substances, such as paraffin wax or ozocerite, that have a mineral origin and consist largely of hydrocarbons
- short for beeswax, sealing wax
- physiol another name for cerumen
- a resinous preparation used by shoemakers to rub on thread
- bone wax a mixture of wax, oil, and carbolic acid applied to the cut surface of a bone to prevent bleeding
- any substance or object that is pliable or easily mouldedhe was wax in the hands of the political bosses
- (modifier) made of or resembling waxa wax figure
- the act or an instance of removing body hair by coating it with warm wax, applying a strip of fabric, and then removing the fabric sharply, thereby plucking the hairs out by their roots
- (tr) to coat, polish, etc, with wax
- to remove (body hair) by means of a wax treatment
- to become larger, more powerful, etc
- (of the moon) to show a gradually increasing portion of illuminated surface, between new moon and full moonCompare wane (def. 1)
- archaic to become as specifiedthe time waxed late
- British informal, old-fashioned a fit of rage or temperhe's in a wax today
Word Origin and History for waxen
"substance made by bees," Old English weax, from Proto-Germanic *wakhsan (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German wahs, Old Norse vax, Dutch was, German Wachs); cognate with Old Church Slavonic vasku, Lithuanian vaškas, Polish wosk, Russian vosk "wax" (but these may be from Germanic). Waxworks "exhibition of wax figures representing famous or notorious persons" first recorded 1796.
"grow bigger or greater," Old English weaxan "to increase, grow" (class VII strong verb; past tense weox, past participle weaxen), from Proto-Germanic *wakhsan (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German wahsan, Old Norse vaxa, Old Frisian waxa, Dutch wassen, German wachsen, Gothic wahsjan "to grow, increase"), from PIE *wegs- (cf. Sanskrit vaksayati "cause to grow," Greek auxein "to increase"), extended form of root *aug- "to increase" (see augment). Strong conjugation archaic after 14c. Related: Waxed; waxing.
- 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.
- Any of various solid, usually yellow substances that melt or soften easily when heated. They are similar to fats, but are less greasy and more brittle. Naturally occurring animal and plant waxes are esters of saturated fatty acids and alcohols of high molecular weight, including sterols. Waxes are also manufactured synthetically from petroleum, and are used to make polishers, lubricants, coatings, waterproofing, crayons, candles, and many other products.