- 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.
verb (used with object)
- paradoxical sleep,
- paraffin series,
- paraffin wax,
Origin of paraffin
Examples from the Web for paraffin-oil
There was paraffin-oil on its hair, face, arms, frock and feet.
Paraffin-oil is the poorest of all present-day forms of lantern illuminants.Optical Projection|Lewis Wright
Mingled with the paraffin-oil all over its person was cold boiled potato.
For many years afterwards William associated babies in his mind with paraffin-oil and potato.
less commonly paraffine (ˈpærəˌfiːn)
Word Origin 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.