What does ambergris mean?

Definitions for ambergris
ˈæm bərˌgris, -grɪsam·ber·gris

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ambergris.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ambergrisnoun

    waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale and found floating at sea or washed ashore; used in perfume


  1. ambergrisnoun

    A solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish color, produced in the intestines of the sperm whale. It is used in perfumes.

    Etymology: ambre gris.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ambergrisnoun

    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 color 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¡ Fahrenheit, and is highly valued in perfumery.

    Etymology: [F. ambre gris, i. e., gray amber; F. gris gray, which is of German origin: cf. OS. grs, G. greis, gray-haired. See Amber.]


  1. Ambergris

    Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish color produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. However, as it ages, it acquires a sweet, earthy scent commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency. The principal historical use of ambergris was as a fixative in perfumery, though it has now been largely displaced by synthetics.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ambergris

    am′bėr-grēs, n. a fragrant substance of an ash-gray colour, found floating on the sea or on the seacoast of warm countries, and in the intestines of the spermaceti whale. [Fr. ambre gris, gray amber.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Ambergris

    an ashy-coloured odorous substance used in perfumery, presumed to be a morbid fragment of the intestines of the spermaceti whale, being often found floating on the ocean which it frequents.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Ambergris

    A gray substance found in the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT of the SPERM WHALE.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. ambergris

    A fragrant drug found floating on sea-coasts, the origin and production of which was long a matter of dispute, although now known to be a morbid product developed in the intestines of the spermaceti whale (Physeter macrocephalus). It is of a grayish colour, very light, easily fusible, and is used both as a perfume and a cordial, in various extracts, essences, and tinctures.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambergris in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambergris in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of ambergris in a Sentence

  1. Phyllis McGinley:

    Women are the fulfilled sex. Through our children we are able to produce our own immortality, so we lack that divine restlessness which sends men charging off in pursuit of fortune or fame or an imagined Utopia. That is why we number so few geniuses among us. The wholesome oyster wears no pearl, the healthy whale no ambergris, and as long as we can keep on adding to the race, we harbor a sort of health within ourselves.

Images & Illustrations of ambergris

  1. ambergrisambergrisambergrisambergrisambergris

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    showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
    • A. profound
    • B. blistering
    • C. sought
    • D. nasty

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