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A peculiar fatty, waxy substance, chiefly cetin (cetyl palmitate), obtained from the head of the sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus; used to impart firmness to ointment bases.
Synonym(s): cetaceum
[sperma- + G. ketos, whale]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Tapersticks held thin candles, usually made of beeswax or spermaceti, that didn't give much light but were used principally for melting sealing wax.
He is, without doubt, the largest inhabitant of the globe; the most formidable of all whales to encounter; the most majestic in aspect; and lastly, by far the most valuable in commerce; he being the only creature from which that valuable substance, spermaceti, is obtained.
We established experimental plots in the low intertidal zone at two sites in the Raritan/Sandy Hook Bay system: Spermaceti Cove and at the eastern base of the Earle Naval Pier.
Nixon, when he applies knowledge of Michael Faraday's The Chemical History of a Candle (1860-1861) to an exegesis of Hopkins' sonnet "The Candle Indoors," in "'Vital candle in closed heart's vault': Energy, Optics, and Hopkins' Spermaceti Flame" (HQ 32, nos.
The congealed, waxy spermaceti in the whale's huge head helps him descend to these great depths.
(60) Upon the arrival of the American vessel the Leviathan, the viceroy, the Marquis do Lavradio, noticed that the crew were specialists in fishing for spermaceti whales, a technique with which the Brazilian whale contractor was totally unfamiliar.
It was the whale oil and spermaceti (a liquid wax) from sperm whales that kept candles burning, lamps shining, and lighthouses guiding ships back to port.
Sperm whales possess two huge oil-filled sacs within their head, known as the spermaceti sac and the junk.
Spermaceti oil, extracted from the heads, "burned cleaner than any other illuminant in the eighteenth century." (21) By the 1770s, more than one hundred Nantucket whaling vessels, set for voyages of four months or longer, competed for laborers from an almost extinct Native population from the island.
Spermaceti, from the whale's head, was used in making candles.
One site was located at Earle Naval Weapons Station and the second was located at Spermaceti Cove at Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook, NJ.
177 Extracting spermaceti from a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) on the deck of a whaler.