One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A north-eastern Brazilian fan palm, the leaves of which exude a yellowish wax.
Copernicia cerifera, family PalmaeAlso called wax palm
- ‘To protect itself against dehydration during the period of drought that severely affects the Northeast region of Brazil every year for more than six months, the Carnauba covers its leaves with a thick layer of wax.’
- 1.1mass noun Wax from the carnauba palm, used as a polish.
- ‘He cooks up a mixture of beeswax, carnauba wax, resin and oil paint, ladles some onto a flat surface and waits a few seconds for it to cool.’
- ‘Today's polymer waxes rival the finest carnaubas when it comes to appearance.’
- ‘Important ester waxes include carnauba wax, lanolin, beeswax, and spermaceti.’
- ‘It combines the gloss of sealants with the depth and liquid look of carnaubas.’
- ‘The waxed surface is smooth, not tacky like some carnaubas.’
- ‘I've tried natural carnaubas and really like the BlackFire.’
- ‘Other important waxes include carnauba wax and spermaceti.’
- ‘In Florida, most carnaubas last only 2-3 weeks (longer and shorter depending on brand, pre-wax preparation and weather/exposure).’
- ‘Auto body specialists at Shamrock recommend polishes that contain a product called carnauba.’
- ‘The paraffin used in Walker's lamp had waxlike properties but was not a true wax like carnauba or beeswax.’
- ‘A carnauba paste wax will not yellow or show water spots.’
- ‘Tana had a canary yellow 1971 Triumph Spitfire, gleaming with chrome and carnauba wax.’
- ‘It takes about twenty leaves to make a pound of carnauba wax.’
- ‘The difference is that the quality products use vegetable and fruit essential oils to act as carriers of the carnauba (also higher quality carnaubas).’
- ‘But, even car buffs will admit that carnaubas are moderately difficult and time consuming (up to twelve hours to cure!’
- ‘The apples all shimmer like celebrities at a premiere, because they are given a shiny coating with carnauba wax (also used in shoe polish).’
Mid 19th century: from Portuguese, from Tupi.
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