[spur-muh-set-ee, -see-tee]
noun Chemistry, Pharmacology.
a pearly white, waxy, translucent solid, obtained from the oil in the head of the sperm whale: used chiefly in cosmetics and candles, and as an emollient.
Also called cetaceum.

1425–75; late Middle English sperma cete < Medieval Latin sperma cētī sperm of whale (see sperm1, cet-)

spermacetilike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To spermacetilike
World English Dictionary
spermaceti (ˌspɜːməˈsɛtɪ, -ˈsiːtɪ)
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 spermasperm1 + Latin cētus whale, from Greek kētos]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
spermaceti   (spûr'mə-sē'tē)  Pronunciation Key 
A white, waxy substance that is obtained from the head of the sperm whale and sometimes other whales, porpoises, and dolphins, and was once widely used to make candles, ointments, and cosmetics. Spermaceti is a liquid at body temperature and consists primarily of fatty alcohols and esters of fatty acids. Spermaceti is produced by the spermaceti organ, a huge melon-shaped sac that may function as a battering ram in aggressive behavior between males.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature