See more synonyms for tallow on Thesaurus.com
  1. the fatty tissue or suet of animals.
  2. the harder fat of sheep, cattle, etc., separated by melting from the fibrous and membranous matter naturally mixed with it, and used to make candles, soap, etc.
  3. any of various similar fatty substances: vegetable tallow.
verb (used with object)
  1. to smear with tallow.

Origin of tallow

1300–50; Middle English talow, talgh; cognate with German Talg
Related formsun·tal·lowed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tallow

smear, wax, suet

Examples from the Web for tallow

Historical Examples of tallow

British Dictionary definitions for tallow


  1. a fatty substance consisting of a mixture of glycerides, including stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids and extracted chiefly from the suet of sheep and cattle: used for making soap, candles, food, etc
  1. (tr) to cover or smear with tallow
Derived Formstallowy, adjective

Word Origin for tallow

Old English tælg, a dye; related to Middle Low German talch tallow, Dutch talk, Icelandic tólg
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 tallow

mid-14c., talwgh, from a form cognate with Middle Low German talg "tallow," Middle Dutch talch, from Proto-Germanic *talga-, meaning perhaps originally "firm, compact material" (cf. Gothic tulgus "firm, solid").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper