• synonyms


[si-roo-muh n]
  1. earwax.
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Origin of cerumen

1735–45; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin cēr(a) wax + (alb)umen albumen
Related formsce·ru·mi·nous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cerumen

Historical Examples

  • Cerumen, se-rū′men, n. the yellow waxy matter secreted in the ear.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)


  • From this I think that the cause of croup is simply the result of abnormality of the cerumen system.

  • Syringing with a large and strong syringe disengaged a large mass of cerumen, and hearing was immediately restored.

    The Young Mother

    William A. Alcott

  • It is lined by skin in its whole length, the sweat glands of which are modified to secrete the wax or cerumen.

British Dictionary definitions for cerumen


  1. the soft brownish-yellow wax secreted by glands in the auditory canal of the external earNontechnical name: earwax
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Derived Formsceruminous, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from New Latin, from Latin cēra wax + albumen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cerumen


"earwax," 1741, medical Latin cerumen, coined by Swiss anatomist Gaspard Bauhin (1560-1624) from Latin cera "wax" (see cere (n.)) on model of albumen; or else from Greek keroumenos "formed of wax."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cerumen in Medicine


  1. The brownish yellow, waxy secretion of the ceruminous glands of the external auditory meatus; earwax.
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Related formsce•rumi•nal (-mə-nəl) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.