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, 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. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: In the present chemical usage this word is spelled paraffin, but in commerce it is commonly spelled paraffine. [1913 Webster]

{Native paraffin}. See {Ozocerite}.

{Paraffin series}. See {Methane series}, under {Methane}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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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