There are 3 definitions of wax in English:

wax1

Syllabification: wax
Pronunciation: /waks
 
/

noun

1A sticky yellowish moldable substance secreted by honeybees as the material of honeycomb; beeswax.
More example sentences
  • In the case of the honeycombs, the worker bees secrete small flakes of wax and probably surround themselves with the flakes to make the cylinders.
  • The jars are all capped with pieces of honeycomb, wax and propolis.
  • However, even in species that do use some natural crevice, important nest structures may be built by groups of workers, as in wax combs in the honey bee.
1.1A white translucent material obtained by bleaching and purifying beeswax and used for such purposes as making candles, modeling, and as a basis of polishes.
More example sentences
  • Raw pigments and heated wax create translucent textures and surfaces.
  • The raindrops ran like melted wax on his white cheeks.
  • The tears were the silent burning kind that slide down your cheeks like hot wax down a candle.
1.2A viscous substance, typically a lipid or hydrocarbon.
More example sentences
  • He experimented by exposing paraffin wax to crushed Salvia leaves and found the solid wax readily adsorbed the volatile terpenes from the air.
  • When mixed with oil or wax, high explosives become like clay.
  • Successful operation of any lava lamp depends on this relationship between the density of water and wax.
1.3Earwax.
More example sentences
  • Each of us naturally secretes varying amounts of wax into the ear canal.
  • Wax can usually be easily removed.
  • If you continue to get a build-up of wax in your ears then you may find that using ear drops regularly helps the wax drain out.
1.4 informal Used in reference to phonograph records: he didn’t get on wax until 1959
More example sentences
  • So what would make three of the most influential artists in New York decide to do that on wax?
  • Joining them is someone who is much better live then he is on wax.
  • He'll be sitting in here and there with the band when his services aren't needed on wax.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Cover or treat (something) with wax or a similar substance, typically to polish or protect it: I washed and waxed the floor
More example sentences
  • If a brass or copper lamp does not have a special no-tarnish finish, you can polish it or wax it after you wash and dry it.
  • That afternoon we polished and shined, swept and dusted, washed and waxed every nook and cranny of the little house while Madam Cuffy cooked the banquet.
  • If you shine it, wax it, wash it, admire it, take photographs of it and never use it, what's the point?
1.1Remove unwanted hair from (a part of the body) by applying wax and then peeling off the wax and hairs together.
More example sentences
  • Robert has already had his arms and legs waxed to remove unwanted hair.
  • Although it's safe to say that body waxes are generally more popular among gay men than heterosexual males, waxing your body hair has nothing to do with your sexuality.
  • From dressing for a beach wedding to waxing your body hair and tucking in shirts properly, we've got your fashion fix.
2 informal Make a recording of: he waxed a series of tracks that emphasized his lead guitar work
More example sentences
  • Elvis Presley was discovered after walking into a Memphis recording studio to wax a $2 gift for his mother.

Origin

Old English wæx, weax, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch was and German Wachs. The verb dates from late Middle English.

Derivatives

waxer

noun
More example sentences
  • The four brothers have been amazed with the response from the Lismore community so far - and from all reports they are the best bunch of buffers, waxers, window tinters and polishers in town.
  • Proving his critics wrong Danny rolled up his trousers and let leg waxers loose on his thick hairy legs.
  • The company's growing cadre of engineers also built nuclear-waste detectors and industrial floor waxers.

Definition of wax in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day animalcule
Pronunciation: ˌanɪˈmalkjuːl
noun
a microscopic animal

There are 3 definitions of wax in English:

wax2

Syllabification: wax
Pronunciation: /waks
 
/

verb

[no object]
1(Of the moon between new and full) have a progressively larger part of its visible surface illuminated, increasing its apparent size.
More example sentences
  • The moon waxed full, looming huge upon the speckled expanse.
  • People who grew up there are strongly attached to the tribal system, which to them seems as natural and morally right as the sun rising in the east and the moon waxing and waning.
  • The moon was waxing, and I was sure it would be full the next night.
1.1 literary Become larger or stronger: his anger waxed
More example sentences
  • And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom.
  • As the junta faltered, Yeltsin waxed stronger and by the end of the year the Communist Party had been banned and the Soviet Union condemned to history - all because one man had grasped the moment.
  • That feeling waxed strongest in Sydney, where a coalition of small interests, organised by Henry Parkes and pursuing populist ends, developed before 1850.
1.2 [with complement] Begin to speak or write about something in the specified manner: they waxed lyrical about the old days
More example sentences
  • We were talking the other night about family, and he began to wax poetic about his dearly departed grandmother.
  • He began to wax eloquent on what was wrong with it.
  • Neither man waxes poetic about getting close to God or the purity of creation.
Synonyms
be enthusiastic, enthuse, eulogize, rave, gush, get carried away

Origin

Old English weaxan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wassen and German wachsen, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek auxanein and Latin augere 'to increase'.

Phrases

wax and wane

Undergo alternate increases and decreases: companies whose fortunes wax and wane with the economic cycle
More example sentences
  • The organisation has seen its fortunes wax and wane over the past 40 years, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1980s during the Greenham Common cruise missile protests.
  • Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia wax and wane, treatment (as with that of other chronic diseases) is an ongoing process rather than management of a single episode.
  • Alternative malt beverages have been around for decades, their popularity waxing and waning among young adults.

Definition of wax in:

There are 3 definitions of wax in English:

wax3

Syllabification: wax
Pronunciation: /waks
 
/

noun

[usually in singular] British informal dated
A fit of anger: she is in a wax about the delay to the wedding

Origin

mid 19th century: origin uncertain; perhaps from phrases such as wax angry.

Definition of wax in: