verb (used with object)


pertaining to, made of, or resembling wax: a wax candle; a wax doll.

Nearby words

  1. wavey,
  2. wavy,
  3. waw,
  4. wawa,
  5. wawl,
  6. wax and wane,
  7. wax bean,
  8. wax cap,
  9. wax flower,
  10. wax gourd


    whole ball of wax, Slang.
    1. 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.
    2. everything of a similar or related nature: They sold us skis, boots, bindings, poles—the whole ball of wax.

Origin of wax

before 900; (noun) Middle English wex, waxe, Old English weax; cognate with Dutch was, German Wachs, Old Norse vax; (v.) Middle English wexen, derivative of the noun

Related formswax·a·ble, adjectivewax·like, adjective



verb (used without object), waxed; waxed or (Literary) wax·en; wax·ing.

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 wax

before 900; Middle English waxen, Old English weaxan; cognate with German wachsen; akin to waist

Can be confusedwane wax

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for waxed

British Dictionary definitions for waxed




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
Derived Formswaxer, nounwaxlike, adjective

Word Origin for wax

Old English weax, related to Old Saxon, Old High German wahs, Old Norse vax



verb (intr)

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

Old English weaxan; related to Old Frisian waxa, Old Saxon, Old High German wahsan, Gothic wahsjan




British informal, old-fashioned a fit of rage or temperhe's in a wax today

Word Origin for wax

of obscure origin; perhaps from the phrase to wax angry

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 waxed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for waxed




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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for waxed



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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with waxed


In addition to the idiom beginning with wax

  • wax and wane

also see:

  • whole ball of wax
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.