alcohol

noun
al·​co·​hol | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯl How to pronounce alcohol (audio) \

Definition of alcohol

1a : ethanol especially when considered as the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors
b : drink (such as whiskey or beer) containing ethanol
c : a mixture of ethanol and water that is usually 95 percent ethanol
2 : any of a class of organic (see organic entry 1 sense 1b(2)) compounds that are analogous to ethanol and that are hydroxyl derivatives of hydrocarbons

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for alcohol

Synonyms

Antonyms

  • nonintoxicant
Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of alcohol in a Sentence

cough medicine that contains alcohol drinks that are high in alcohol There was a high level of alcohol in his blood at the time of the accident. a mixture of different alcohols The restaurant had a license to serve alcohol.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web South Africa has taken some of the most drastic measures in the world to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, but one has generated fierce debate like no other: a ban on the sale, and even transport, of alcohol. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "South Africa’s alcohol ban during lockdown reveals its deadly drinking habits," 9 May 2020 For a month after that, there was no legal sale of alcohol in India. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "“Can we drink or not?” Official flip-flops ruin Indian beer makers’ summer fizz," 7 May 2020 What makes the shortage particularly frustrating is that the U.S. is, by far, the world’s largest producer of alcohol. Jim Doti And Laurence Iannaccone, WSJ, "Why You Can’t Find Rubbing Alcohol," 4 May 2020 Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause a decrease in REM sleep. Lindsey Vickers, USA TODAY, "Food to avoid for better sleep during stressful times—and what to eat instead," 29 Apr. 2020 Orlando's defense attorney, Eduardo Rubi, argued that due to the influence of alcohol, Orlando was temporarily insane at the time of Haley Anderson's murder. CBS News, "Murder of N.Y. nursing student leads to an international manhunt for her killer," 25 Apr. 2020 Flavors can vary and aren't strictly traditional, though historically, natural flavors like plum were often added to temper the taste of alcohol. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Why You Should Be Drinking Soju," 20 Apr. 2020 Moore advises that sanitizer should be made up of 60 to 70 percent alcohol. Jesse Sparks, Bon Appétit, "What to Know About Shopping and Cooking During Coronavirus," 13 Apr. 2020 Distilleries are using the byproducts of alcohol to make hand sanitizer. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Listen: PPE and the chocolate factory," 8 Apr. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of alcohol

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for alcohol

New Latin, from Medieval Latin, powdered antimony, from Old Spanish, from Arabic al-kuḥul the powdered antimony, from kuḥl kohl

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alcohol

Time Traveler for alcohol

Time Traveler

The first known use of alcohol was in 1672

See more words from the same year

Statistics for alcohol

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alcohol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alcohol. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alcohol

alcohol

noun
How to pronounce alcohol (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of alcohol

: a clear liquid that has a strong smell, that is used in some medicines and other products, and that is the substance in liquors (such as beer, wine, or whiskey) that can make a person drunk
: drinks containing alcohol

alcohol

noun
al·​co·​hol | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯl How to pronounce alcohol (audio) \

Kids Definition of alcohol

1 : a colorless flammable liquid that in one form is the substance in liquors (as beer, wine, or whiskey) that can make a person drunk
2 : a drink containing alcohol

alcohol

noun
al·​co·​hol | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯl How to pronounce alcohol (audio) \

Medical Definition of alcohol

1a : ethanol especially when considered as the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors
b : drink (as whiskey or beer) containing ethanol
c : a mixture of ethanol and water that is usually 95 percent ethanol
2 : any of various compounds that are analogous to ethanol in constitution and that are hydroxyl derivatives of hydrocarbons

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on alcohol

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alcohol

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alcohol

Spanish Central: Translation of alcohol

Nglish: Translation of alcohol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alcohol for Arabic Speakers

Comments on alcohol

What made you want to look up alcohol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!