A white waxy substance produced by the sperm whale, formerly used in candles and ointments. It is present in a rounded organ in the head, where it focuses acoustic signals and aids in the control of buoyancy.
More example sentences
- In Bénard cells, which also form on the surface of the sun, the organizing gradient is literally a temperature gradient across a viscous fluid, sometimes spermaceti, sperm whale oil.
- Some ziphiids are pursued by whalers for their oil and spermaceti.
- Still, whale-related products remained in high demand, especially the fine oil derived from spermaceti (the oil extracted from the head of sperm whales).
late 15th century: from medieval Latin, from late Latin sperma 'sperm' + ceti 'of a whale' (genitive of cetus, from Greek kētos 'whale'), from the belief that it was whale spawn.
Definition of spermaceti in:
- The British & World English dictionary