1. any of various insects that secrete a waxy substance
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Wax \Wax\, n. [AS. weax; akin to OFries. wax, D. was, G. wachs,
OHG. wahs, Icel. & Sw. vax, Dan. vox, Lith. vaszkas, Russ.
1. A fatty, solid substance, produced by bees, and employed
by them in the construction of their comb; -- usually
called beeswax. It is first excreted, from a row of
pouches along their sides, in the form of scales, which,
being masticated and mixed with saliva, become whitened
and tenacious. Its natural color is pale or dull yellow.
Note: Beeswax consists essentially of cerotic acid
(constituting the more soluble part) and of myricyl
palmitate (constituting the less soluble part).
2. Hence, any substance resembling beeswax in consistency or
(a) (Physiol.) Cerumen, or earwax. See Cerumen.
(b) A waxlike composition used for uniting surfaces, for
excluding air, and for other purposes; as, sealing
wax, grafting wax, etching wax, etc.
(c) A waxlike composition used by shoemakers for rubbing
(d) (Zool.) A substance similar to beeswax, secreted by
several species of scale insects, as the Chinese wax.
See Wax insect, below.
(e) (Bot.) A waxlike product secreted by certain plants.
See Vegetable wax, under Vegetable.
(f) (Min.) A substance, somewhat resembling wax, found in
connection with certain deposits of rock salt and
coal; -- called also mineral wax, and ozocerite.
(g) Thick sirup made by boiling down the sap of the sugar
maple, and then cooling. [Local U. S.]
(h) any of numerous substances or mixtures composed
predominantly of the longer-chain saturated
hydrocarbons such as the paraffins, which are solid at
room teperature, or their alcohol, carboxylic acid, or
Japanese wax, a waxlike substance made in Japan from the
berries of certain species of Rhus, esp. Rhus
Mineral wax. (Min.) See Wax, 2
Wax cloth. See Waxed cloth, under Waxed.
Wax end. See Waxed end, under Waxed.
Wax flower, a flower made of, or resembling, wax.
Wax insect (Zool.), any one of several species of scale
insects belonging to the family Coccidae, which secrete
from their bodies a waxlike substance, especially the
Chinese wax insect (Coccus Sinensis) from which a large
amount of the commercial Chinese wax is obtained. Called
Wax light, a candle or taper of wax.
Wax moth (Zool.), a pyralid moth (Galleria cereana) whose
larvae feed upon honeycomb, and construct silken galleries
among the fragments. The moth has dusky gray wings
streaked with brown near the outer edge. The larva is
yellowish white with brownish dots. Called also bee
Wax myrtle. (Bot.) See Bayberry.
Wax painting, a kind of painting practiced by the ancients,
under the name of encaustic. The pigments were ground with
wax, and diluted. After being applied, the wax was melted
with hot irons and the color thus fixed.
Wax palm. (Bot.)
(a) A species of palm (Ceroxylon Andicola) native of the
Andes, the stem of which is covered with a secretion,
consisting of two thirds resin and one third wax,
which, when melted with a third of fat, makes
(b) A Brazilian tree (Copernicia cerifera) the young
leaves of which are covered with a useful waxy
Wax paper, paper prepared with a coating of white wax and
Wax plant (Bot.), a name given to several plants, as:
(a) The Indian pipe (see under Indian).
(b) The Hoya carnosa, a climbing plant with polished,
(c) Certain species of Begonia with similar foliage.
Wax tree (Bot.)
(a) A tree or shrub (Ligustrum lucidum) of China, on
which certain insects make a thick deposit of a
substance resembling white wax.
(b) A kind of sumac (Rhus succedanea) of Japan, the
berries of which yield a sort of wax.
(c) A rubiaceous tree (Elaeagia utilis) of New Grenada,
called by the inhabitants "arbol del cera."
Wax yellow, a dull yellow, resembling the natural color of
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any of various insects that secrete a waxy substance