/par"euh fin/, n.
1. a white or colorless, tasteless, odorless, water-insoluble, solid substance not easily acted upon by reagents, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons chiefly of the alkane series, obtained from crude petroleum: used in candles, for forming preservative coatings and seals, for waterproofing paper, etc.
2. Chem.
a. any member of the alkane series.
b. one of the higher members of the alkane series, solid at ordinary temperatures, having a boiling point above 300°C, which largely constitutes the commercial form of this substance.
3. Also called paraffin oil. Brit. kerosene.
4. to cover or impregnate with paraffin.
[1830-40; < G < L par(um) barely + aff(inis) connected + -IN2; so called from its slight affinity for other substances; see AFFINITY]

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Paraffin wax, a mixture of organic compounds traditionally derived from petroleum but also obtained synthetically.

It usually consists of alkane hydrocarbons (also called paraffins) and is used for coating and sealing, for candles, and in floor waxes, lubricants, waterproofing agents, and cosmetics. See also alkane.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paraffin — Par af*fin (p[a^]r [a^]f*f[i^]n), Paraffine Par af*fine (p[a^]r [a^]f*f[i^]n or p[a^]r [a^]f*f[=e]n), n. [F. paraffine, fr. L. parum too little + affinis akin. So named in allusion to its chemical inactivity.] (Chem.) A white waxy substance,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • paraffin — (n.) 1838, from Ger. Paraffin, coined c.1830 by German chemist Karl von Reichenbach (1788 1869), who first obtained it as a waxy substance from wood tar, irregularly from L. parum not very, too little + affinis associated with. So called because… …   Etymology dictionary

  • paraffin — ► NOUN 1) (Brit. paraffin wax) a flammable waxy solid obtained from petroleum or shale and used for sealing and waterproofing and in candles. 2) (also paraffin oil or liquid paraffin) Brit. a liquid fuel made similarly, especially kerosene. 3)… …   English terms dictionary

  • Paraffin — Sn eine wachsartige Masse zur Herstellung von Kerzen usw. erw. fach. (19. Jh.) Neoklassische Bildung. Neubildung zu l. parum wenig und l. affīnis angrenzend, vertraut, verwandt , aus l. fīnis m./f. Grenze und l. ad . So bezeichnet nach der… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • paraffin — [par′ə fin] n. [Ger < L parum, too little + affinis, akin (see AFFINITY): from its chemical inertness] 1. a white, waxy, odorless, tasteless solid substance consisting of a mixture of straight chain, saturated hydrocarbons: it is obtained… …   English World dictionary

  • Paraffin — Paraffin, Leuchtmaterial, welches aus den Destillationsproducten fossiler Kohlen dargestellt u. namentlich zur Bereitung von Kerzen (Paraffinkerzen, s. Kerzen E) verwendet wird. Es ist fest u. stellt im reinen Zustand eine glänzend weiße,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Paraffin — Paraffin, eine aus dem Teer von Braunkohle, Torf und bituminösem Schiefer, aus Erdöl, Ozokerit darstellbare, wachsähnliche Substanz, die aus Kohlenwasserstoffen, vorwiegend Grenzkohlenwasserstoffen oder Paraffinen CnH2n+2 besteht. In Deutschland… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Paraffin — Paraffīn, ein Gemisch fester Kohlenwasserstoffe der Äthanreihe, kommt im Petroleum, Ozokerit und Bitumen vor, entsteht bei der trocknen Destillation von bituminösen Schiefern, Torf, Braunkohle und Holz, wird aus Rohpetroleum und Braunkohlenteer… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Paraffin — Paraffin, s. Theer …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • paraffin — is spelt with one r and two fs. The equivalent term in AmE is kerosene …   Modern English usage

  • Paraffin — For the fuel called paraffin in the United Kingdom and South Africa, see Kerosene. For other uses, see Paraffin (disambiguation). In chemistry, paraffin is a term that can be used synonymously with alkane , indicating hydrocarbons with the… …   Wikipedia

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