Fr., from L. parum, little ; and affinis, related to.] A white substance of the nature of wax. It is got from shale, coal-tar, petroleum, etc., and is unattached (hence its name) by such powerful oxidizing agents as nitric and chloric acid. The lighter and more volatile portions of petroleum are used as solvents for gums, fats, resins, etc.; and the less volatile portions are used for illuminating and for lubricating, or are converted into vaseline or paraffin wax, from which candles are made.