/lin"seed'/, n.
[bef. 1000; ME linsed, OE linsaed. See LINE1, SEED]

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also called  flaxseed (flax) 

      seed of a variety of the common flax, Linum usitatissimum, grown for its yield of linseed oil and meal. This variety of flax has shorter straw, more branches, and more seeds than other varieties that are grown primarily for linen fibre. It is cultivated principally in Argentina, Canada, the United States, Russia, and Ukraine.

      Linseed was used as food by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In modern times, its main food use is as livestock feed. After the oil is removed from linseed by compression, the remaining meal, high in protein and minerals, is heated and pressed into cakes for livestock.

      Linseed is borne in globular capsules, each with 10 long, flat, elliptical seeds with slight projections at one end. The seeds are typically about 3 to 4 mm (0.1 to 0.15 inch) long. They are usually brown and are smooth and shiny, with a mucilaginous substance in their outer layer that makes them sticky when wet. The whole seed usually contains from 33 to 43 percent oil by weight of air-dried seed.

      Linseed oil is golden yellow, brown, or amber in colour. It is classified as a drying oil because it thickens and becomes hard on exposure to air. It is slightly more viscous than most vegetable oils and is used in the production of paints, printing inks, linoleum, varnish, and oilcloth. Linseed oil was formerly a common vehicle in exterior house paints, but its chief remaining use in this field is in artists' oil paints, which are made by grinding raw pigment into the oil.

      The chief commercial grades of linseed oil are raw, refined, boiled, and blown. Raw oil is the slowest-drying. Refined oil is raw oil with the free fatty acids, gums, and other extraneous materials removed. The boiled and blown grades dry most quickly and form the hardest films.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Linseed — Lin seed (l[i^]n s[=e]d ), n. [OE. lin flax + seed. See {Linen}.] (Bot.) The seeds of flax, from which linseed oil is obtained. [Written also {lintseed}.] [1913 Webster] {Linseed cake}, the solid mass or cake which remains when oil is expressed… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • linseed — O.E. linsæd seed of flax, widely regarded in ancient times as a source of medical treatments, from lin flax (see LINEN (Cf. linen)) + sæd seed (see SEED (Cf. seed)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • linseed — ► NOUN ▪ the seeds of the flax plant. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • linseed — [lin′sēd΄] n. [ME linsed < OE linsæd < lin, flax (see LINE2) + sæd, SEED] the seed of flax; flaxseed …   English World dictionary

  • linseed — n. the seed of flax. Phrases and idioms: linseed cake pressed linseed used as cattle food. linseed meal ground linseed. linseed oil oil extracted from linseed and used in paint and varnish. Etymology: OE linsaeligd f. lin flax + saeligd seed …   Useful english dictionary

  • linseed — noun The seed of the flax plant, which yields linseed oil The Ancients widely regarded linseed as a source of medical treatments Syn: flaxseed See Also: linen …   Wiktionary

  • linseed — The dried ripe seed of Linum usitatissimum (family Linaceae), flax, the fiber of which is used in the manufacture of linen; an infusion was used as a demulcent in catarrhal affections of the respiratory and urogenital tracts, and the ground seeds …   Medical dictionary

  • linseed — noun Linseed is used before these nouns: ↑oil …   Collocations dictionary

  • linseed — /ˈlɪnsid / (say linseed) noun the seed of flax. {Middle English linsed, Old English līnsǣd, from līn flax + sǣd seed} …  

  • linseed — sėjamasis linas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Lininių šeimos aliejinis, maistinis, pašarinis, pluoštinis, vaistinis kultūrinis nuodingas augalas (Linum usitatissimum). atitikmenys: lot. Linum crepitans; Linum humile; Linum usitatissimum;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

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