distill

verb
dis·​till | \ di-ˈstil How to pronounce distill (audio) \
variants: or less commonly distil
distilled; distilling

Definition of distill

transitive verb

1 : to let fall, exude, or precipitate (see precipitate entry 1 sense 3b) in drops or in a wet mist some caves are dry, others distill water from invisible rifts— Norman Douglas
2a : to purify or transform (a liquid) by successive evaporation and condensation : to subject to or transform by distillation distill molasses into rum
b : to obtain by or as if by distillation distill whiskey able to distill humor from personal loss
c : to extract the essence of : concentrate distill the experience into a poem

intransitive verb

1a : to fall or materialize in drops or in a fine moisture
b : to appear slowly or in small quantities at a time
2a : to undergo distillation
b : to perform distillation

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Synonyms for distill

Synonyms

dribble, drip, drop, trickle

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Examples of distill in a Sentence

They distill the whiskey from malted barley. He has perfectly distilled the meaning of the holiday into a poem.

Recent Examples on the Web

Since designing a completely Middle Eastern-style home would be hard in a cold climate, Vaux attempted to distill that same feel by creating a complex of stone rooms built around a central courtyard with a roof. Cator Sparks, House Beautiful, "The Fascinating History Behind This Moorish-Style Home in Upstate New York," 3 May 2019 The single franchise that kind of distills everything about being a modern fan in the NBA right now is the Bucks. SI.com, "Best NBA Bandwagons: What Fanbase Should You Join?," 16 Mar. 2018 My Little Scythe distills the original game down to an experience that children can enjoy. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "The hottest new board games from Gen Con 2018," 11 Aug. 2018 Aside from beer, Left Coast’s Irvine location will distill vodka, rum, whiskey and gin — a first for the company. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, "San Clemente’s Left Coast Brewing Co. opens an Irvine location," 12 July 2018 In a world that seemed on the verge of forgetting how to do anything for itself, here were instructions about how to butcher a hog, build a cabin and distill moonshine. Max Watman, WSJ, "‘Travels With Foxfire’ Review: Like They Do in the Mountains," 16 Aug. 2018 This new book distills the explanations he's found most relevant since then. Sarah Lewin, Space.com, "Stephen Hawking's Children and Colleagues Discuss Physicist's Final Book, Legacy," 17 Oct. 2018 Kim's meeting with the Uganda president isn't the first time that KKW has had to distill her life's work into the barest of facts. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Had to Explain Her Job to the Controversial President of Uganda in a Meeting That Also Included Kanye," 16 Oct. 2018 Behind that façade an expat Englishman and his team work to distill every bottle of Ki No Bi (or Beauty of the Seasons). Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Come to Kyoto for the Sake, Stay for the Gin," 17 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distill.' 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 distill

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for distill

Middle English distillen, from Anglo-French distiller, from Late Latin distillare, alteration of Latin destillare, from de- + stillare to drip, from stilla drop

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Statistics for distill

Last Updated

11 May 2019

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Time Traveler for distill

The first known use of distill was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for distill

distill

verb

English Language Learners Definition of distill

: to make (a liquid) pure by heating it until it becomes a gas and then cooling it until it is a liquid again : to purify (a liquid) by distillation
: to make (a strong alcoholic drink) by using this process
: to take the most important parts of something and put them in a different and usually improved form

distill

verb
dis·​till
variants: also distil \ di-​ˈstil \
distilled; distilling

Kids Definition of distill

: to make (a liquid) pure by heating it until it becomes a gas and then cooling it until it becomes a liquid distill water

Other Words from distill

distiller noun

distill

verb
dis·​till
variants: also distil \ dis-​ˈtil How to pronounce distil (audio) \
distilled; distilling

Medical Definition of distill

transitive verb

1 : to subject to or transform by distillation
2 : to obtain by or as if by distillation
3 : to obtain an extract from (as a plant) by infusion and distillation making medicines by distilling herbs

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo distillation
2 : to condense or drop from a still after distillation

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More from Merriam-Webster on distill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for distill

Spanish Central: Translation of distill

Nglish: Translation of distill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distill for Arabic Speakers

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