From Old English weax, from Proto-Germanic *wahsą, from Proto-Indo-European *woḱ-so-. Cognate with Dutch was, German Wachs, Norwegian voks; and with Lithuanian vaškas, Proto-Slavic *voskъ (“wax”).
wax (countable and uncountable, plural waxes)
- Any oily, water-resistant substance; normally long-chain hydrocarbons, alcohols or esters.
- Any preparation containing wax, used as a polish.
- (uncountable) The phonograph record format for music.
- (US, dialectal) A thick syrup made by boiling down the sap of the sugar maple and then cooling it.
- (US, slang) A type of drugs with as main ingredients weed oil and butane; hash oil
wax (not comparable)
- Made of wax.
wax (third-person singular simple present waxes, present participle waxing, simple past and past participle waxed)
- (transitive) To apply wax to (something, such as a shoe, a floor, a car, or an apple), usually to make it shiny.
- (transitive) To remove hair at the roots from (a part of the body) by coating the skin with a film of wax that is then pulled away sharply.
- (transitive, informal) To defeat utterly.
- (transitive, slang) To kill, especially to murder a person.
- (transitive, archaic, usually of a musical or oral performance) To record. [from 1900]
From Middle English waxen, from Old English weaxan (“to wax, grow, be fruitful, increase, become powerful, flourish”), from Proto-Germanic *wahsijaną (“to grow”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂weg- (“to grow, increase”). Cognate with Scots wax (“to grow”), West Frisian waakse (“to grow”), Low German wassen, Dutch wassen (“to grow”), German wachsen (“to grow”), Danish and Norwegian vokse (“to grow”), Swedish växa (“to grow”), Icelandic vaxa (“to grow”), Gothic ??????? (wahsjan, “to grow”); and with Ancient Greek ἀέξειν (aéxein), Latin auxilium. It is in its turn cognate with augeo. See eke.
wax (third-person singular simple present waxes, present participle waxing, simple past waxed or (archaic) wex, past participle waxed or (dialectal, archaic) waxen)
- (intransitive, with adjective, literary) To increasingly assume the specified characteristic, become.
- (intransitive, literary) To grow.
- (intransitive, of the moon) To appear larger each night as a progression from a new moon to a full moon.
- (intransitive, of the tide) To move from low tide to high tide.
- (rare) The process of growing.
Origin uncertain; probably from phrases like to wax angry, wax wode, and similar (see Etymology 2, above).
wax (plural waxes)
- (dated, colloquial) An outburst of anger.