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Ambergris

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Ambergris

a substance of the consistence of wax, found floating in the indian ocean and other parts of the tropics, and also as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus), which is believed to be in all cases its true origin. In colour it is white, ash-gray, yellow, or black, and often variegated like marble. The floating masses are sometimes from sixty to two hundred and twenty-five pounds in weight. It is wholly volatilized as a white vapor at 212 deg fahrenheit, and is highly valued in perfumery.

Origin: f. Ambre gris, i. E, gray amber; f. Gris gray, which is of german origin: cf. Os. Gris, g. Greis, gray-haired. See amber.