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
2 : something distilled : distillate sense 2

Examples of distillation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Fun fact: the distillation column of Etheridge’s 2,000-gallon still is made from the recycled metal of a rail spur salvaged from the Warehouse District. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Warehouse District: How West Palm Beach’s newest nightlife village found suds, spirits and ‘soul’," 6 June 2019 Unlike other approaches that use reverse osmosis or distillation, TSSE has found success with using a solvent. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "We Might Finally Be Able to Safely Drink Salt Water," 8 May 2019 More Spirits Science Enough of those byproducts are left over after distillation that the spirit holds up to exposure from the oak and sherry better than a totally neutral spirit would, says Jeffrey. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Celebrate World Cocktail Day with a Surprising Spin on the Boulevardier," 13 May 2019 In response, major producers developed continuous distillation, which is more like a series of teapots linked together. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "Micro Distilling Goes Macro," 27 May 2016 The plans presented to the commission include a sampling area and a separate 2,200-square-foot room for distillation and fermentation, with equipment towering nearly 19 feet. Diane Moca, Naperville Sun, "Craft distillery hoping to open in old Nichols Library wins enthusiastic support of liquor commission," 9 June 2018 Rose water, a liquid made from the steam distillation of rose petals, is a homeopathic beauty treatment used since ancient Egypt. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Beauty Benefits of Rose Water," 8 Feb. 2019 Arctic, the first feature film from Brazilian director Joe Penna (mainly known before his Cannes debut for his popular YouTube channel), is one of the purest distillations of that centuries-old struggle. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Arctic is a pure distillation of the man vs. nature genre," 1 Feb. 2019 Most essential oils get made with a process called steam distillation, essentially when steam is passed through raw plant material (like ginger or lavender), causing the aromatic compounds in the plants to then vaporize. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use Ginger Oil for Swelling and Inflammation, According to a Dermatologist," 15 Jan. 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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Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for distillation

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

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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

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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