ambergris

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n ambergris waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale and found floating at sea or washed ashore; used in perfume
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Ambergris ăm"bẽr*grēs A substance of the consistence of wax, found floating in the Indian Ocean and other parts of the tropics, and also as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), which is believed to be in all cases its true origin. In color it is white, ash-gray, yellow, or black, and often variegated like marble. The floating masses are sometimes from sixty to two hundred and twenty-five pounds in weight. It is wholly volatilized as a white vapor at 212° Fahrenheit, and is highly valued in perfumery.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ambergris A morbid secretion of the liver or intestines of the spermaceti whale, the Catodon (Physeter) macrocephalus; a solid, opaque, ash-colored, inflammable substance, lighter than water, of a consistence like that of wax, and having when heated a fragrant odor. It softens in the heat of the hand, melts below 212° F. into a kind of yellow resin, and is highly soluble in alcohol. It is usually found floating on the surface of the ocean, or cast upon the shore in regions frequented by whales, as on the coasts of the Bahama islands, sometimes in masses of from 60 to 225 pounds in weight. In this substance are found the beaks of the cuttlefish, on which the whale is known to feed. It is highly valued as a material for perfumery, and was formerly used in medicine as an aphrodisiac and for spicing wines. Sometimes written ambergrise or ambergrease.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ambergris am′bėr-grēs a fragrant substance of an ash-gray colour, found floating on the sea or on the seacoast of warm countries, and in the intestines of the spermaceti whale.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. ambre gris, i. e., gray amber; F. gris, gray, which is of German origin: cf. OS. grîs, G. greis, gray-haired. See Amber
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. ambre gris, gray amber.

Usage

In literature:

She had some ambergris which she wanted us to take, but we did not know what to do in regard to the terms.
"Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680" by Jasper Danckaerts
Ambergris is a secretion formed in the intestines of the sperm whale.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
Yet Feridun was not an angel, nor Composed of musk and ambergris.
"Chips From A German Workshop - Volume I" by Friedrich Max Müller
Most of the ambergris of commerce is obtained from the neighborhood of the Bahama Islands.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
Not to be outdone he rejoined with ambergris, rosewater, a cut-work ruff, and a picture of the Magdalen.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Strain through porous paper and add a scruple of Musk and a scruple of Ambergris.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
Shall I put any of this ambergris in your ladyship's hair, or do you better like the musk-rose?
"The Buccaneer" by Mrs. S. C. Hall
The meat was accompanied by sliced boiled lemons sprinkled with nadd and scented with ambergris.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
To one pint of highly rectified spirits of wine, put an ounce of the oil of rosemary, and two drams of the essence of ambergris.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
A little ambergris or musk gives the fruit a fine flavour.
"The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;" by Charlotte Campbell Bury
This material, which somewhat resembles ambergris, is not transparent.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700" by Various
I read the entire entry, but the part that really concerns us, is the part about the ambergris they picked up.
"Fire Mountain" by Norman Springer
Ambergris is one of the most valuable products of the sea.
"The Scrap Book, Volume 1, No. 6" by Various
Ambergris is also produced from the body of the sperm whale.
"Natural History in Anecdote" by Various
They purchased here some ambergris, which Dampier says he had in a lump of 100 lbs.
"The Monarchs of the Main, Volume II (of 3)" by Walter Thornbury
Then there was a packet of ambergris and Marston knew ambergris was worth much.
"Wyndham's Pal" by Harold Bindloss
Mohammad scented himself with musk and he liked sandal-wood, camphor and ambergris to be burnt.
"The Life of Mohammad" by Etienne Dinet
The ground was strewed with ambergris, musk, and saffron.
"Thalaba the Destroyer" by Robert Southey
Ambergris is used mainly as a vehicle for scents, and is a costly substance.
"The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia" by Frank Evers Beddard
It may be noted that both the Malays and the Chinese attribute the origin of ambergris to either a sea-dragon or a sea-serpent.
"Mythical Monsters" by Charles Gould
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In poetry:

For the room was filled with a soft sweet light
Of ambergris and apricot,
And round the walls were angels bright,
With lute and flute and angelot.
"The Ballad Of Saint Vitus" by Lord Alfred Douglas

In news:

In this week's chef-to-chef challenge, Charles Joly of the Drawing Room scents a cocktail with ambergris , whale vomit often used in perfume.
Odyssey science manager, Rebecca Clark, examines a rare piece of ambergris, a substance found in the intestine of one in every one hundred sperm whales.
Bobby Halliday motors off Ambergris Caye.
Two chunks of ambergris, or solidified whale vomit , are pictured above.
In a post-whaling age, she has yet to find someone who knows whether it is truly ambergris.
In this Nov 8, 2012 file photo, John McAfee speaks at a ceremony for the official presentation of equipment at the San Pedro Police Station in Ambergris Caye, Belize .
Undated photograph showing the house where US citizen Gregory Viant Faull(52) was murdered in Ambergris Caye, Belize between the night of November 10th and Sunday November 11th.
John McAfee speaks at an official presentation of equipment ceremony at the San Pedro Police Station in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Breathtaking Ambergris Caye in Belize.
In this Thursday Nov 8, 2012 photo software company founder John McAfee speaks at the official presentation of equipment ceremony that took place at the San Pedro Police Station in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In this Nov 8, 2012 file photo, John McAfee speaks at a ceremony for the official presentation of equipment at the San Pedro Police Station in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
"Fumée d'Ambre Gris (Smoke of the Ambergris)" is one of four Sargent paintings at the Carter that have never been seen before in Texas.
Whales contributed oil for illuminants, ambergris for perfumes, and baleen, a bonelike substance extracted from the jaw, for umbrellas.
In this week's chef-to-chef challenge, Charles Joly of the Drawing Room scents a cocktail with ambergris, whale vomit often used in perfume.
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