dis·​til·​la·​tion | \ ˌdi-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce distillation (audio) \

Definition of distillation

1a : the process of purifying a liquid by successive evaporation and condensation
b : a process like distillation gradual distillation of the truth also : an instance of such distilling

Examples of distillation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The playwright’s distillation of language forced Lloyd to match it with his staging. New York Times, "A Director Making His Mark in More Ways Than One," 9 Jan. 2020 The result is a brilliant distillation of the moral, economic and practical arguments for open borders. The Economist, "The case for migration—in pictures," 12 Dec. 2019 Residues from the distillation process act as fertilizer for farmers’ crops, and leftover methanol is used to make an affordable mosquito repellent. Chloe Berge, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Kigali, Rwanda, Should Be More Than a Layover Before Your Gorilla Safari," 11 Oct. 2019 Cachaca is produced from sugar cane like run but with a different distillation process. Leanne Italie, SFChronicle.com, "Get in the spirit of your favorite celebrity this season," 26 Nov. 2019 That no longer refers to must-haves, but to a distillation of ideas, discarding excess in collections and by example in wardrobes, to discourage waste. Colleen Barry, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Armani explores connection with nature in ethereal looks," 21 Sep. 2019 The Mandalorian’s pilot episode is a distillation of that plan. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Mandalorian Is a Flashy but Flimsy Star Wars Story," 12 Nov. 2019 Like methamphetamine labs in rural America, mercury distillation often takes place in remote areas, far from prying eyes. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "The Hidden Cost of Gold: Birth Defects and Brain Damage," 9 Nov. 2019 His favorites are always sort of distillations of certain components of a book. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Edward Norton on ‘Motherless Brooklyn,’ ‘Fight Club,’ ‘Joker,’ #MeToo, toxic masculinity," 4 Nov. 2019

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

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

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Time Traveler for distillation

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

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Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Distillation.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distillation. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for distillation


dis·​til·​la·​tion | \ ˌdi-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce distillation (audio) \

Kids Definition of distillation

: the process of heating a liquid until it gives off a gas and then cooling the gas until it becomes liquid


dis·​til·​la·​tion | \ ˌdis-tə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce distillation (audio) \

Medical Definition of distillation

1 : a process that consists of driving gas or vapor from liquids or solids by heating and condensing to liquid products and that is used especially for purification, fractionation, or the formation of new substances
2 : something distilled

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More from Merriam-Webster on distillation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distillation

Spanish Central: Translation of distillation

Nglish: Translation of distillation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about distillation

Comments on distillation

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