from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A white, waxy substance consisting of various esters of fatty acids, obtained from the head of the sperm whale or another cetacean and used for making candles, ointments, and cosmetics.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A wax obtained from the head of sperm whales. It is used to make cosmetics etc.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A white waxy substance obtained from cavities in the head of the sperm whale, and used making candles, oilments, cosmetics, etc. It consists essentially of ethereal salts of palmitic acid with ethal and other hydrocarbon bases. The substance of spermaceti after the removal of certain impurities is sometimes called cetin.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A peculiar fatty substance contained in the characteristic adipose tissue of the cavity of the head of the spermwhale or cachalot, Physeter or Catodon macrocephalus, and related cetaceans.
- Pertaining to, derived from, or composed of spermaceti or sperm.
- Producing or yielding spermaceti, as the sperm-whales.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a white waxy substance from oil of the sperm whale
Middle English, from Medieval Latin spermacētī : Late Latin sperma, semen; see sperm1 + Latin cētī, genitive of cētus, whale; see Cetus.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)