- a white or colorless, tasteless, odorless, water-insoluble, solid substance not easily acted upon by reagents, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons chiefly of the alkane series, obtained from crude petroleum: used in candles, for forming preservative coatings and seals, for waterproofing paper, etc.
- any member of the alkane series.
- one of the higher members of the alkane series, solid at ordinary temperatures, having a boiling point above 300°C, which largely constitutes the commercial form of this substance.
- Also called paraffin oil. British. kerosene.
- to cover or impregnate with paraffin.
Origin of paraffin
Examples from the Web for paraffin
The necessity for this coating of sulphur or paraffin you will understand by an experiment.The Story of a Tinder-box
Charles Meymott Tidy
Then pile your tent into a tub and pour in the turpentine and paraffin mixture.
The hot water will heat the turpentine, and the turpentine will melt the paraffin.
The paraffin must be removed by toluol before proceeding further.Histology of the Blood
In course of time the paraffin will be found to have separated from the glass.On Laboratory Arts
less commonly paraffine (ˈpærəˌfiːn)
- to treat with paraffin or paraffin wax
Word Origin and History for paraffin
1838, from German Paraffin, coined c.1830 by German chemist Karl von Reichenbach (1788-1869), who first obtained it as a waxy substance from wood tar, irregularly from Latin parum "not very, too little," probably related to parvus "little, small" (see parvi-) + affinis "associated with" (see affinity).
So called because paraffin is chemically not closely related to other substances. The liquid form (originally parafin oil) Reichenbach called eupion, but this was the standard meaning of paraffin in English by 1860.
- A waxy, white or colorless solid mixture of hydrocarbons made from petroleum and used to make candles, wax paper, lubricants, and waterproof coatings. Also called paraffin wax
- See alkane.