• WordNet 3.6
    • n paraffin (British usage) kerosine
    • n paraffin a series of non-aromatic saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH(2n+2)
    • n paraffin from crude petroleum; used for candles and for preservative or waterproof coatings
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Paraffin (Chem) A white waxy substance, resembling spermaceti, tasteless and odorless, and obtained from coal tar, wood tar, petroleum, etc., by distillation. It is used in candles, as a sealing agent (such as in canning of preserves), as a waterproofing agent, as an illuminant and as a lubricant. It is very inert, not being acted upon by most of the strong chemical reagents. It was formerly regarded as a definite compound, but is now known to be a complex mixture of several higher hydrocarbons of the methane or marsh-gas series; hence, by extension, any substance, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, of the same chemical series; thus gasoline, coal gas and kerosene consist largely of paraffins.☞ In the present chemical usage this word is spelled paraffin, but in commerce it is commonly spelled paraffine.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n paraffin The collective name for compounds of the marsh-gas series which have the general formula CnH2n + 2—that is, two more than twice as many hydrogen atoms as carbon atoms. These bodies are characterized by a remarkable chemical indifference. They are saturated hydrocarbons, all the atoms in the molecule being joined by single bonds, and therefore they cannot enter into combination without partial destruction of the molecule.
    • n paraffin Specifically, in com. and manufacturing, a substance obtained by the dry distillation of wood, peat, bituminous coal, wax, etc. It is a tasteless, inodorous, fatty matter, and resists the action of acids and alkalis. It is largely used in the manufacture of candles, which equal those of the finest wax, and is used also as a waterproofing material for paper and fabrics, for lining wooden and metallic vessels, as trays and tanks for acids and voltaic batteries, as an electric insulator, for coating splints and other appliances which are subjected to septic influences, for giving a polish in fine laundry-work, as a vehicle for the fulminate in matches, as a cartridge-covering, for preserving fruit and vegetables by forming a film or coating on the surface, and for many other purposes. One of the main sources, of paraffin is crude petroleum, which yields a considerable quantity during its preparation for market.
    • n paraffin Petroleum or kerosene.
    • paraffin To coat or impregnate with paraffin; treat with paraffin.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Paraffin par′af-fin a white, transparent, crystalline substance, obtained from shale, coal-tar, &c., much used instead of wax, tallow, &c. in making candles—so named as having little affinity—for an alkali—also Par′affine
    • v.t Paraffin to coat or impregnate with paraffin
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. paraffine, fr. L. parum, too little + affinis, akin. So named in allusion to its chemical inactivity


In literature:

Chip the paraffin fairly fine; dump it into the turpentine.
"Boy Scouts Handbook" by Boy Scouts of America
This is done by heating the footprint with a hot iron, and filling it in with paraffin.
"The Harmsworth Magazine, v. 1, 1898-1899, No. 2" by Various
Pot of paraffine which may be heated, and paper tags dipped after date has been written on tag in pencil.
"The Automobile Storage Battery" by O. A. Witte
The next part of the process is to coat the splints with paraffin or melted sulphur.
"The Story of a Tinder-box" by Charles Meymott Tidy
The sea is a vast pond of paraffin.
"An Ocean Tramp" by William McFee
The phonograph was pursuing the even tenor of its paraffine way.
"The Mermaid of Druid Lake and Other Stories" by Charles Weathers Bump
Let boil until quite thick, then put in glasses and when cold cover with paraffine.
"Stevenson Memorial Cook Book" by Various
Paraffin largely diluted may be used, but is dangerous in excess.
"The Book of Pears and Plums" by Edward Bartrum
And was it not yourself that fed her with soft soap and paraffin?
"Ditte: Girl Alive!" by Martin Andersen Nexo
I'm taking it to Neelsen for paraffin sections.
"Contamination Crew" by Alan Edward Nourse
The mixture must be kept in bottles coated on the inside with paraffine or wax.
"Paper and Printing Recipes" by J. Sawtelle Ford
To think of asking that queer Mr. Nibb for white velvet, when he kept only shoe-strings and paraffin for sale!
"What Happened to Inger Johanne" by Dikken Zwilgmeyer
Why, these fellows asked me to fill their bottles with paraffin, and I did so.
"The Luck of Gerard Ridgeley" by Bertram Mitford
Is there any paraffin about, or kerosene?
"The White Hand and the Black" by Bertram Mitford
To prevent oxidation of the mercury, and to prevent arcing, the surface is covered with paraffin oil.
"Wireless Transmission of Photographs" by Marcus J. Martin
AMBRINE, a preparation of paraffin, resin, and wax, used as a remedy in the treatment of burns and scalds and in rheumatic disorders.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 1" by Various
Paraffin, and almost all patent candles, fill the air with burnt smoke, and this, to many people, is insufferable.
"Household Organization" by Florence Caddy
The solution is then preserved in amber glass-stoppered bottles, sealed with paraffin until ready for use.
"Soap-Making Manual" by E. G. Thomssen
His lamp had been knocked over, and he was soaked in paraffin, and smelt vilely.
"Our Battalion" by Leonard Raven-Hill
One of these traps may be constructed as follows at the cost of only a few pence over the price of a small paraffin lamp.
"Butterflies and Moths" by William S. Furneaux

In poetry:

But tho’ he drank nothing but paraffin oil
He didn’t improve one iota
While at breakfast he sat in the Hotel de Chat
He gambled the roe of his bloater.
"The Gambler" by Billy Bennett
It didn't want no stable, it didn't ask no groom,
It didn't need no nothin' but a bit o' standin' room.
Just fill it up with paraffin an' it would go all day,
Which the same should be agin the law if I could 'ave my way.
"The Groom's Story" by Arthur Conan Doyle

In news:

We love the gooey goodness of a paraffin treatment, and we're always amused playing with the wax of a just-blown-out candle.
39 for Vitamin C Facial & Paraffin Hand Treatment (reg.
) bag chocolate chips small pieces of Paraffin wax.
Get the most comprehensive and accurate paraffin -wax price assessments.
The Evolution of Paraffin Treatments.
Look for food-grade paraffin wax for candy making.
U S Chemical./ Beta Technology, Inc. Thursday's Ask the Experts: Paraffin buildup.
Thursday's Ask the Experts: Paraffin buildup.
INTERVIEWS Download Dirty Paraffin 's Cheeky 'Download This'.
Get the most comprehensive and accurate paraffin-wax price assessments.
Indian Oil to restart Digboi paraffin wax plant after turnaround.
Readers of the ICIS weekly Paraffin Wax (Europe) report will be flocking to see a new sculpture in London's Royal Academy of Arts (RA).
Thursday's Ask the Experts: Paraffin buildup .
Paraffin wax deposition costs the oil industry billions of dollars worldwide for prevention and remediation .
Paraffin precipitation and deposition in crude oil transport flowlines and pipelines is an increasing challenge for the development of deepwater subsea hydrocarbon reservoirs.

In science:

Small tissue cores (0.6–2 mm in diameter) are extracted from the corresponding biopsy paraffin blocks (donor block), then inserted into a TMA receiver block according to the plan.
Mass data exploration in oncology: An information synthesis approach