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wax 1 (wăks)
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n.
1.
a. Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.
b. Beeswax.
c. Earwax.
2.
a. A solid plastic or pliable liquid substance, such as ozocerite or paraffin, originating from petroleum and found in rock layers and used in paper coating, as insulation, in crayons, and often in medicinal preparations.
b. A preparation containing wax used for polishing floors and other surfaces.
3. A resinous mixture used by shoemakers to rub on thread.
4. A cosmetic procedure in which facial or body hair is removed by peeling away a layer of wax that has been allowed to harden.
adj.
Made of wax: a wax candle.
tr.v. waxed, wax·ing, wax·es
1. To coat, treat, or polish with wax.
2.
a. To remove (facial or body hair) by covering the skin with a layer of wax that is peeled off after hardening, uprooting the encased hairs.
b. To remove hair from (a portion of the body) by this method.
Idiom:
on wax
Informal In the medium of phonograph recordings.

[Middle English, from Old English weax.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
wax 2 (wăks)
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intr.v. waxed, wax·ing, wax·es
1. To increase gradually in size, number, strength, or intensity: "His love affair with Mrs. Bernstein waxed and waned and waxed again" (C. Hugh Holman).
2. To show a progressively larger illuminated area, as the moon does in passing from new to full.
3.
a. To grow or become as specified: "His very body had waxed old in lowly service of the Lord" (James Joyce).
b. To speak or write as specified: "[He] warmed to his most favorite of subjects, waxed eloquent, gained in his face a glow of passion" (Paul J. Willis).
Phrasal Verb:
wax on
To speak or write at length about something: "Mason waxed on and on about the old days" (Jennifer Cruisie).

[Middle English waxen, from Old English weaxan; see aug- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
wax 3 (wăks)
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n.
Chiefly British
A fit of anger: "All at once you would suddenly find yourself reverting to childish attitudes, flaring up in a wax with some fellow" (Frank O'Connor).

[Perhaps from WAX2 (as in archaic to wax angry, to grow angry).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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