paraffin

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paraffin

 [par´ah-fin]
1. a purified mixture of solid hydrocarbons from petroleum, used for embedding histological specimens and as a stiffening agent in pharmaceutical preparations.
2. alkane.
liquid paraffin see mineral oil.

par·af·fin

(par'ă-fin),
1. One of the methane series of acyclic hydrocarbons.
2. Synonym(s): hard paraffin
[L. parum, little, + affinis, neighboring, akin, so called because of its slight tendency to chemical reaction]

alkane

Any of a number of saturated aliphatic (straight-chain) hydrocarbons of the methane series (methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hexane, septane, octane, nonane, decane, etc.), in which the carbons are joined to other carbons by single bonds.

hard par·af·fin

(hahrd pară-fin)
Purified mixture of solid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum.
Synonym(s): paraffin (2) .