Definition of waxen in US English:



  • 1Having a smooth, pale, translucent surface or appearance like that of wax.

    ‘a canopy of waxen, creamy blooms’
    • ‘The blossoms upon the lilac tree looked waxen in the pale light and filled the air with heavenly fragrance.’
    • ‘The body was waxen and pale, grained like the ancient bark of an oak after rain.’
    • ‘Her waxen lips move slowly, as if she is speaking quietly, but her fear and the screaming of those around her steals the voice from her words, leaving her the empty comfort of having said them.’
    • ‘And Hope's eyes remained closed; her chocolate hair spread in a cloud behind her head, waxen complexion and slowed breathing giving her the look of a sleeping fairytale princess under an evil curse.’
    • ‘She sat beside him for a moment, studying his waxen features with a sadness that somehow erased all of her pity.’
    • ‘His father's skin, once ruddy from a lifetime of Montana ranching, has gone waxen and slack.’
    • ‘Hilda's blank eyes stared at her, face waxen and mouth open in a silent scream with a thin line of blood drying on the side of bluish lips.’
    • ‘Not a shadow flickered in the waxen light the moon cast over everything.’
    • ‘His face was deeply lined and waxen, his jaw set determinedly.’
    • ‘I lifted my head to see that Tanya was looking much better that morning, though she still looked waxen and skinny, as if she hadn't eaten in a while.’
    • ‘His face is waxen and his breath comes in wheezes, and as I move to pick him up his skin is hot to the touch.’
    • ‘Every death is ugly and undignified, as life is wrenched away, leaving an inanimate, waxen corpse.’
    • ‘His face was nearly colorless, his skin pale and waxen.’
    • ‘His face was sheened with sweat; the gash on his cheek a startling contrast against his waxen skin.’
    • ‘Her hair, a lustrous shade of auburn, waves about her waxen face.’
    • ‘My skin is as pale and waxen as a corpse, dotted here and there with loathsome freckles.’
    • ‘She appears waxen and dead, akin to Lenin's body in its Red Square tomb.’
    • ‘I remember seeing a body, a waxen broken body, hearing someone say something about slipping in a bathtub, and then seeing that the chest is not rising and falling, and feeling sad because someone has died.’
    pallid, pale, pasty, wan, ashen, colourless, anaemic, bloodless, washed out, ashy, chalky, chalk-white, white, grey, whitish, waxy, blanched, drained, ghastly, sickly, sallow, as white as a ghost, as white as a sheet, deathly pale
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    1. 1.1literary, archaic Made of wax.
      ‘a waxen effigy’
      • ‘The restaurant area is aglow with vibrant shades of turquoise and tangerine, while huge candles drip waxen stalactites down one wall.’