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.

1300–50; Middle English talow, talgh; cognate with German Talg

untallowed, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tallow (ˈtæləʊ)
1.  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
2.  (tr) to cover or smear with tallow
[Old English tælg, a dye; related to Middle Low German talch tallow, Dutch talk, Icelandic tólg]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1350, talwgh, from a form cognate with M.L.G. talg "tallow," M.Du. talch, from P.Gmc. *talga-, meaning perhaps originally "firm, compact material" (cf. Goth. tulgus "firm, solid").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


odourless, tasteless, waxy white fat, consisting of suet (the hard fat about the kidneys and loins of cattle, sheep, and horses) or similar vegetable substances. Tallow consists mainly of glyceryl esters of oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids. Tallow was used chiefly to make soap and candles until the development of synthetic surfactants made it available for animal feeds and as a base for chemicals and lubricants. Tallow is extracted by rendering, cutting, or chopping the fatty tissue into small pieces that are boiled in vats or cooked in steam digesters, then collecting the fat by skimming or by centrifuging.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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