- Also called beeswax. a solid, yellowish, nonglycerine substance allied to fats and oils, secreted by bees, plastic when warm and melting at about 145°F, variously employed in making candles, models, casts, ointments, etc., and used by bees in constructing their honeycomb.
- any of various similar substances, as spermaceti or the secretions of certain insects and plants.Compare vegetable wax, wax insect.
- any of a group of substances composed of hydrocarbons, alcohols, fatty acids, and esters that are solid at ordinary temperatures.
- cerumen; earwax.
- a resinous substance used by shoemakers for rubbing thread.
- sealing wax.
- a person or object suggesting wax, as in manageability or malleability: I am helpless wax in your hands.
- to rub, smear, stiffen, polish, etc., with wax: to wax the floor.
- to fill the crevices of (ornamental marble) with colored material.
- bikini wax.
- Informal. to make a phonograph recording of.
- Slang. to defeat decisively; drub: We waxed the competition.
- pertaining to, made of, or resembling wax: a wax candle; a wax doll.
- whole ball of wax, Slang.
- the entire or overall plan, concept, action, result, or the like: The first ten minutes of the meeting will determine the whole ball of wax.
- everything of a similar or related nature: They sold us skis, boots, bindings, poles—the whole ball of wax.
Origin of wax1
- to increase in extent, quantity, intensity, power, etc.: Discord waxed at an alarming rate.
- (of the moon) to increase in the extent of its illuminated portion before the full moon.Compare wane(def 4).
- to grow or become: He waxed angry at the insinuation.
Origin of wax2
Synonyms for wax
Related Words for waxedswell, develop, magnify, augment, dilate, come, mount, rise, upsurge, enlarge, increase, turn, build, become, multiply, run, heighten, grow, expand
Examples from the Web for waxed
Contemporary Examples of waxed
You go for your gold-digger lessons, then you go get waxed and tanned.Russia’s Gold Digger Academy
November 11, 2014
After meeting Obama, Baugh returned to his freshly washed and waxed truck.The President and the Tow Truck Driver
September 25, 2014
“Umm…they maintain themselves,” she responded when asked whether or not they were threaded, plucked, or waxed.Donald Sterling’s Former Mistress Makes the “Paparazzi Shield” Chic; Cara Delevingne Has Self-Grooming Eyebrows
The Fashion Beast Team
May 5, 2014
After all, body hair is natural—a whole lot more natural than grown women who have been waxed to look like Barbie dolls.Madonna Took a Selfie of Her Hairy Armpit. So What?
March 21, 2014
Its prestige (if not its income) waxed and waned as Thatcherism died and the Blair era arrived.Charles Saatchi: From Saatchi & Saatchi to Allegedly Choking Nigella Lawson
June 18, 2013
Historical Examples of waxed
She was very certain that her eyes had not been darkened as to lids or waxed as to lashes.Her Father's Daughter
And how it thrived and grew, and waxed in strength and beauty!A Little Book of Profitable Tales
Her eyes were downcast--looking upon the waxed floor as if in meditation.In the Valley
For Uncle Ben was a strong man, and waxed garrulous in his cups.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
The backers of Cherokee waxed jubilant and offered ridiculous odds.White Fang
- any of various viscous or solid materials of natural origin: characteristically lustrous, insoluble in water, and having a low softening temperature, they consist largely of esters of fatty acids
- any of various similar substances, such as paraffin wax or ozocerite, that have a mineral origin and consist largely of hydrocarbons
- short for beeswax, sealing wax
- physiol another name for cerumen
- a resinous preparation used by shoemakers to rub on thread
- bone wax a mixture of wax, oil, and carbolic acid applied to the cut surface of a bone to prevent bleeding
- any substance or object that is pliable or easily mouldedhe was wax in the hands of the political bosses
- (modifier) made of or resembling waxa wax figure
- the act or an instance of removing body hair by coating it with warm wax, applying a strip of fabric, and then removing the fabric sharply, thereby plucking the hairs out by their roots
- (tr) to coat, polish, etc, with wax
- to remove (body hair) by means of a wax treatment
Word Origin for wax
- to become larger, more powerful, etc
- (of the moon) to show a gradually increasing portion of illuminated surface, between new moon and full moonCompare wane (def. 1)
- archaic to become as specifiedthe time waxed late
Word Origin for wax
- British informal, old-fashioned a fit of rage or temperhe's in a wax today
Word Origin for wax
"substance made by bees," Old English weax, from Proto-Germanic *wakhsan (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German wahs, Old Norse vax, Dutch was, German Wachs); cognate with Old Church Slavonic vasku, Lithuanian vaškas, Polish wosk, Russian vosk "wax" (but these may be from Germanic). Waxworks "exhibition of wax figures representing famous or notorious persons" first recorded 1796.
"grow bigger or greater," Old English weaxan "to increase, grow" (class VII strong verb; past tense weox, past participle weaxen), from Proto-Germanic *wakhsan (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German wahsan, Old Norse vaxa, Old Frisian waxa, Dutch wassen, German wachsen, Gothic wahsjan "to grow, increase"), from PIE *wegs- (cf. Sanskrit vaksayati "cause to grow," Greek auxein "to increase"), extended form of root *aug- "to increase" (see augment). Strong conjugation archaic after 14c. Related: Waxed; waxing.
- Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents.
- A solid plastic or pliable liquid substance, such as paraffin, originating from petroleum and found in rock layers and often used in medicinal preparations.
- Any of various solid, usually yellow substances that melt or soften easily when heated. They are similar to fats, but are less greasy and more brittle. Naturally occurring animal and plant waxes are esters of saturated fatty acids and alcohols of high molecular weight, including sterols. Waxes are also manufactured synthetically from petroleum, and are used to make polishers, lubricants, coatings, waterproofing, crayons, candles, and many other products.
In addition to the idiom beginning with wax
- wax and wane
- whole ball of wax