absinthe

noun
ab·​sinthe | \ ˈab-(ˌ)sin(t)th How to pronounce absinthe (audio) \
variants: or less commonly absinth

Definition of absinthe

2 [borrowed from French absinthe, going back to Middle French, "wormwood," borrowed from Latin absinthium] : a green or sometimes colorless distilled liquor with high alcoholic content that is flavored with wormwood, anise, and other aromatic herbs (such as fennel) also : a similar liquor that is made without wormwood

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Did You Know?

In 1797, Swiss Henri-Louis Pernod was the first to commercially produce an alcoholic drink from the bitter herb Artemisia absinthium, known commonly as wormwood. By the mid-to-late 1800s this bright green distillation, by then known in both French and English as "absinthe," had become wildly popular, especially among artists and writers, but it also had a reputation for making people a little wild. In fact, it was linked to several nasty disorders, including convulsions and foaming at the mouth. The accused culprit? A toxin in wormwood - perhaps the very chemical that gives the plant its tapeworm-exterminating properties (and thus its name). Because of these reported side effects of wormwood, true absinthe was banned in many countries (including the U.S.) in the early 1900s, but that didn't remove the taste for the drink. Wormwood’s name was later cleared (the real culprit turned out to be the drink’s high alcohol content) and the absinthe ban was lifted in the U.S. in 2007.

Examples of absinthe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The mixture is vigorously stirred with ice and strained into a second glass that’s liberally coated with Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liqueur that replaced absinthe when it was banned in 1912. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "History marches on in New Orleans with these new attractions," 25 Feb. 2020 Christmapolitan: Vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, lime, rosemary and an absinthe mist. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Miracle, a Christmas pop-up bar, bringing cocktails, ugly sweaters to downtown Fort Lauderdale," 14 Oct. 2019 Bartenders at Cayo Coco, for example, make variations on the classic Zombie from both the 1930s (which included absinthe and baking spices) and the 1950s (more fruit, less spice). Eric Velasco, al, "Downtown restaurant and rum bar transports guests to Old Havana," 5 Dec. 2019 Returning to the menu: The Run Run Rudolph, crafted with gin, Prosecco, mulled wine puree, lemon and cane syrup; and the Christmapolitan, crafted with vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime and an absinthe mist. al, "Miracle, the Christmas cocktail popup bar, is headed back to Birmingham," 18 Nov. 2019 Learning out about absinthe and beret wearing taxi dancers from Lost Generation artist wanderers still able to climb the hill of Montmarte up to Le Chat Noir. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Boomers not OK with OK, Boomer (11/17/19)," 17 Nov. 2019 In the basement speakeasy, Prohibition, find a throwback haunt for live music, creative cocktails, and traditional pours of absinthe. Serena Renner, National Geographic, "A local’s guide to Vancouver," 22 Oct. 2019 This year, one of the most popular drinks at Dark Harbor is called the Corpse Reviver II, a cocktail with absinthe served in a martini glass. Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times, "Sangria blood bags: Theme parks use Halloween to take #foodporn a step further," 16 Oct. 2019 An absinthe fountain sits prominently between guests and barkeeps and bottles crowd narrow shelves on the bar wall. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Bars in Charleston," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absinthe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of absinthe

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for absinthe

Middle English absinthe, borrowed from Latin absinthium, apsinthium "wormwood, infusion of wormwood," borrowed from Latin absinthium, apsinthium, borrowed from Greek apsínthion, of pre-Greek substratal origin

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Time Traveler for absinthe

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The first known use of absinthe was in 1612

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Last Updated

6 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Absinthe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absinthe. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for absinthe

absinthe

noun
How to pronounce absinthe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of absinthe

: a green alcoholic drink that has a very strong and bitter flavor

absinthe

noun
ab·​sinthe
variants: also absinth \ ˈab-​(ˌ)sin(t)th How to pronounce absinth (audio) \

Medical Definition of absinthe

2 : a green liqueur flavored with wormwood or a substitute, anise, and other aromatics

More from Merriam-Webster on absinthe

Nglish: Translation of absinthe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about absinthe

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