spermaceti

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Related to spermacetis: sperm whale

sper·ma·ce·ti

 (spûr′mə-sē′tē, -sĕt′ē)
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.]

spermaceti

(ˌspɜːməˈsɛtɪ; -ˈsiːtɪ)
n
(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)

n.
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]

sper·ma·ce·ti

(spûr′mə-sē′tē)
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spermaceti - a white waxy substance from oil of the sperm whale
wax - any of various substances of either mineral origin or plant or animal origin; they are solid at normal temperatures and insoluble in water
Translations

spermaceti

[ˌspɜːməˈsetɪ] Nesperma m or f de ballena

spermaceti

nSpermazet nt, → Walrat nt
References in classic literature ?
As in decapitating the whale, the operator's instrument is brought close to the spot where an entrance is subsequently forced into the spermaceti magazine; he has, therefore, to be uncommonly heedful, lest a careless, untimely stroke should invade the sanctuary and wastingly let out its invaluable contents.
You must go to New Bedford to see a brilliant wedding; for, they say, they have reservoirs of oil in every house, and every night recklessly burn their lengths in spermaceti candles.
It is in the upper part of this enormous head, in great cavities divided by cartilages, that is to be found from six to eight hundred pounds of that precious oil called spermaceti.