dis·​til·​la·​tion | \ˌdi-stə-ˈlā-shən \

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

The neutral spirit is distilled from grain or fruit, then botanicals are either infused into the spirit or added during a second distillation. Jonah Flicker, USA TODAY, "Celebrate World Gin Day in the USA," 8 June 2018 Shinnecock transformed one of this generation’s best golfers into a frustrated putt-putt participant, his putt-jog-whack the perfect distillation of the insanity that had only just begun when he was penalized two strokes for his antics. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "USGA's Unplayable Course at Shinnecock 'Totally Gone' in Third Round of U.S. Open," 16 June 2018 In a way, the resulting flat sculptures are pure distillations of the artist’s impulse to make something in the world more visible by pulling it out of its context. New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 27 June 2018 Named for the type of still used for distillation, patented by Aeneas Coffey in the 19th century. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Warm-Weather Whisky: 5 Easy-Drinking Options," 6 June 2018 The original proposal incorporates a sampling room and a 2,200-square-foot distillation and fermentation room. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Old Nichols Library won't work for craft distillery, other Naperville locations being scouted," 16 June 2018 Visitors to the new distillery can take in the sights and smells of bourbon making — from fermentation and distillation to barrel-making, aging and bottling — all under one roof. Washington Post, "Old Forester returns to roots with new Kentucky distillery," 14 June 2018 Created in the painstakingly traditional way, El Tesoro uses a Tahona wheel to crush the agave piñas before distillation at La Alteña Distillery, founded in 1937 by Don Felipe Camarena. San Francisco Chronicle, "Hands-On Farmers Market Cocktail Class with El Tesoro Tequila," 13 June 2018 The lack of water in the distillation process gives the vodka a naturally low mineral content. Brandy Gonsoulin, chicagotribune.com, "Vodka — made from milk? Yes.," 27 June 2018

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

28 Oct 2018

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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 \

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 \

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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