Definition of tallow in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtaləʊ/


[mass noun]
A hard fatty substance made from rendered animal fat, used (especially formerly) in making candles and soap.
Example sentences
  • Coal was initially used to supply domestic heat and fuel; to heat pans of sea-water to produce salt, of fats to make tallow for soap and candles, or of molasses to refine sugar; and in forges to heat iron and other metals.
  • Richer folk lit their homes with candles made from beeswax or whale oil, whilst poorer folk had to make do with smelly, smoky tallow candles made from animal fat.
  • After clothes and linens had been thoroughly rubbed and scrubbed using homemade soap made from beef tallow and lye (soap-making is another whole story), they were wrung out by hand and placed in a second tub to be rinsed.


[with object] archaic
Smear (something, especially the bottom of a boat) with tallow: I tallowed my boats with our candles
More example sentences
  • She was then tarred and/or tallowed and refit for sea.
  • Then, having taken in wood and water and tallowed the ship, the pirates stood across for the coast of Guinea with a pilot picked up at St. Thomas.



Example sentences
  • The secret of raising delectable beef on grass - avoiding the expense and tallowy taste of commercially fed beef - is to maintain lush pasture through the growing season.
  • Odor was tallowy or ‘beefy’ to a moderate degree as was also the flavor of the oil.
  • Such smells are reminiscent of blown-out candles, and are frequently described as greasy, tallowy or watery.




Middle English: perhaps from Middle Low German; related to Dutch talk and German Talg.

Words that rhyme with tallow

aloe, callow, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, shallow

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tal¦low

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