[kahr-nou-buh, -naw-, -noo-]
carnauba, wax obtained from the wax palm, or carnauba (Copernicia cerifera), of Brazil. It is secreted by the leaves, apparently in defense against the hot winds and droughts of its native habitat, and the resultant coating is removed by drying and flailing. The hardest, highest-melting natural wax known, its many commercial uses include the production of polishes, lubricants, and floor waxes. A similar wax is obtained from the trunk of Ceroxylon andicola, the wax palm of the Andes.

Very hard wax obtained from fronds of the carnauba tree, Copernicia cerifera, a fan palm of Brazil. During the regular dry seasons in Brazil, where it is called the tree of life, the carnauba palm protects its fanlike fronds from loss of moisture by secreting a coat of carnauba wax. Carnauba has been used in high-gloss polishes, phonograph records, and explosives. Synthetics have replaced it for many applications.

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