spermaceti(redirected from cetaceum)
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n. pl. sper·ma·ce·tis
A white waxy substance obtained chiefly from the head of the sperm whale, consisting of various esters of fatty acids and formerly used for making candles, ointments, and cosmetics.
[Middle English, from Medieval Latin spermacētī : Late Latin sperma, semen; see sperm1 + Latin cētī, genitive of cētus, whale; see Cetus.]
(Elements & Compounds) a white waxy substance obtained from oil from the head of the sperm whale: used in cosmetics, candles, ointments, etc
[C15: from Medieval Latin sperma cētī whale's sperm, from sperma sperm1 + Latin cētus whale, from Greek kētos]
sper•ma•cet•i(ˌspɜr məˈsɛt i, -ˈsi ti)
a pearly white, waxy, translucent solid, obtained from the oil of sperm whales and other cetaceans: used chiefly in cosmetics and candles and as an emollient.
[1425–75; < Medieval Latin sperma cētī sperm of whale]
A white, waxy substance obtained from the head of the sperm whale and sometimes other whales, porpoises, and dolphins, and used to make candles, ointments, and cosmetics.