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spermaceti

Pronunciation: sper'ma-set'e

Definition: 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]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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