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[tal-oh] /ˈtæl oʊ/
the fatty tissue or suet of animals.
the harder fat of sheep, cattle, etc., separated by melting from the fibrous and membranous matter naturally mixed with it, and used to make candles, soap, etc.
any of various similar fatty substances:
vegetable tallow.
verb (used with object)
to smear with tallow.
Origin of tallow
1300-50; Middle English talow, talgh; cognate with German Talg
Related forms
untallowed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tallow
  • The export trade in lard and tallow has made remarkable gains during the past few months.
  • The tallow was then used to waterproof boats or wine barrels.
  • Removal of these controls was necessitated by the ending of meat controls which freed lard and edible tallow.
  • They may also be cooked in beef tallow or in vegetable oil that is high in saturated fat.
  • But neither restaurant offers period-authentic fare or lighting that is strictly tallow.
  • tallow candles burned quickly and unsteadily, and they scattered grease.
  • The tallow is then melted, and the moulds are filled.
  • At the edge of the table stood a smouldering tallow-candle in an iron candlestick.
  • Workers crushed animal flesh and fat in its basin to make tallow, which drained out of the tiny hole below.
  • In the cities, tallow chandlers bought fat from butchers and private households, to make both soap and candles.
British Dictionary definitions for tallow


a fatty substance consisting of a mixture of glycerides, including stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids and extracted chiefly from the suet of sheep and cattle: used for making soap, candles, food, etc
(transitive) to cover or smear with tallow
Derived Forms
tallowy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English tælg, a dye; related to Middle Low German talch tallow, Dutch talk, Icelandic tólg
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tallow

mid-14c., talwgh, from a form cognate with Middle Low German talg "tallow," Middle Dutch talch, from Proto-Germanic *talga-, meaning perhaps originally "firm, compact material" (cf. Gothic tulgus "firm, solid").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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