camphor

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Old French camphore or Medieval Latin camphora, from Arabic كافور (kāfūr), from Middle Persian 𐭪𐭠𐭬𐭥𐭫 (kāpūr), ultimately from Malay kapur, possibly via Sanskrit कर्पुर (karpura).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

camphor (uncountable)

  1. (organic chemistry) A white transparent waxy crystalline isoprenoid ketone, with a strong pungent odour, used in pharmacy.
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine Chapter X
      I fancied at first the stuff was paraffin wax, and smashed the jar accordingly. But the odour of camphor was unmistakable. It struck me as singularly odd, that among the universal decay, this volatile substance had chanced to survive, perhaps through many thousand years.

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