- wax (n.)
- Old English weax "substance made by bees," from Proto-Germanic *wahsam (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German wahs, Old Norse vax, Dutch was, German Wachs), from PIE root *wokso- "wax" (source also of Old Church Slavonic voskŭ, Lithuanian vaškas, Polish wosk, Russian vosk "wax" (but these may be from Germanic).
Used of other similar substances from 18c. Slang for "gramophone record" is from 1932, American English (until the early 1940s, most original records were made by needle-etching onto a waxy disk which was then metal-plated to make a master). Waxworks "exhibition of wax figures representing famous or notorious persons" first recorded 1796.
- wax (v.2)
- "to coat or cover with wax," late 14c., from wax (n.). Related: Waxed; waxing.
- wax (v.1)
- "grow bigger or greater," Old English weaxan "to increase, grow" (class VII strong verb; past tense weox, past participle weaxen), from Proto-Germanic *wahsan (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German wahsan, Old Norse vaxa, Old Frisian waxa, Dutch wassen, German wachsen, Gothic wahsjan "to grow, increase"), from PIE *weg- (source also of Sanskrit vaksayati "cause to grow," Greek auxein "to increase"), extended form of root *aug- (1) "to increase." Strong conjugation archaic after 14c. Related: Waxed; waxing.