1. One of the methane series of acyclic hydrocarbons. 2. SYN: hard p.. [L. parum, little, + affinis, neighboring, akin, so called because of its slight tendency to chemical reaction]
- hard p. a purified mixture of solid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. SYN: p. (2).
- liquid p. SYN: mineral oil.
- white soft p. SYN: white petrolatum.
- yellow soft p. SYN: petrolatum.

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par·af·fin 'par-ə-fən n
1 a) a waxy crystalline flammable substance obtained esp. from distillates of wood, coal, petroleum, or shale oil that is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and is used chiefly in coating and sealing, in candles, in rubber compounding, and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
b) any of various mixtures of similar hydrocarbons including mixtures that are semisolid or oily
par·af·fin·ic .par-ə-'fin-ik adj

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one of a series of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. Paraffin wax (hard paraffin), a whitish mixture of solid hydrocarbons melting at 45-60°C, is used in medicine mainly as a base for ointments; it is also used for embedding specimens for microscopical study. Liquid paraffin is a mineral oil, which has been used as a laxative.

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par·af·fin (parґə-fin) [L. parum little + affinis akin] [NF] 1. a purified mixture of solid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum, occurring as an odorless, tasteless, colorless or white, more or less translucent mass; used for embedding histological specimens and as a stiffening agent in pharmaceutical preparations. See also paraffin bath, under bath. 2. alkane.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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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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