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 Here was a perfect distillation of McConnell’s political vision. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 29 July 2022 The distillation is to purify the tequila and concentrate the alcohol. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 In this regard, the current dominance of franchise and blockbuster cinema isn’t a betrayal of the classic Hollywood heritage but merely a distillation and intensification of its essential practices. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 May 2022 At night, the campers gathered around fires for Takibi Time—a distillation of everything the company hoped to achieve with the retreat. Jiakai Chang, Outside Online, 12 Oct. 2021 Its obsessive desire for awards helped turn the Emmys race into a distillation of the very worst of the Oscars race — big-money campaigns focusing attention on a disturbingly limited number of works. Los Angeles Times, 20 July 2022 The smell is strongest, however, during distillation. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 13 July 2022 There were books, folders of clippings, stacks of print materials of all kinds piled up as if awaiting distillation through the typewriter’s alembic. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, 12 July 2022 My palate is my strength and post distillation has been my focus over the last seven years. Fred Minnick, Forbes, 5 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of distillation

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

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

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distilled green

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Statistics for distillation

Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distillation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distillation. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on distillation

Nglish: Translation of distillation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about distillation


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