noun, plural wax·works. (usually used with a singular verb)
  1. an exhibition of or a museum for displaying wax figures, ornaments, etc.

Origin of waxworks

1690–1700; wax1 + works


  1. a figure, ornament, or other object made of wax, or especially the life-size effigy of a person.
  2. the bittersweet, Celastrus scandens.

Origin of waxwork

First recorded in 1690–1700; wax1 + work
Related formswax·work·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for waxworks

Historical Examples of waxworks

  • Sylvia and Woodville had simply forgotten all about the waxworks.

    The Twelfth Hour

    Ada Leverson

  • Now, Waxworks, with all his faults, has quite a decent sense of humour.

    The Daughters of a Genius

    Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

  • In the autumn of last year I was taken to see some waxworks.

    The Legacy of Cain

    Wilkie Collins

  • There is also a curious look of waxworks about his over-washed hands.

    With Rimington

    L. March Phillipps

  • "Begorra, it's in the waxworks he ought for to be," muttered Billy Doyle, grimly surveying him from head to foot.

British Dictionary definitions for waxworks


  1. an object reproduced in wax, esp as an ornament
  2. a life-size lifelike figure, esp of a famous person, reproduced in wax
  3. (plural; functioning as singular or plural) a museum or exhibition of wax figures or objects
Derived Formswaxworker, noun
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