Origin of earwax

First recorded in 1350–1400, earwax is from the Middle English word erewax. See ear1, wax1
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Examples from the Web for earwax

Historical Examples of earwax

British Dictionary definitions for earwax


  1. the nontechnical name for cerumen
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 earwax

late 14c., from ear (n.1) + wax (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

earwax in Medicine


  1. A waxlike secretion of certain glands lining the canal of the external ear; cerumen.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.