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

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 Visitors see the distillation process from beginning to finished spirit, and the tour concludes with a visit to the distillery bar, The Finishing Room, where visitors get to taste the spirit. Gabe Hauari, The Courier-Journal, "Tour these top Kentucky distilleries. Shocker! They're mostly bourbon," 20 June 2018 All in all, the starkest, most darkly funny distillation of Western—not to say human—religious, economic, and social constructs ever poured into two acts. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "After all these years, we’re still Waiting for Godot," 30 May 2018 Those ideas, of course, are at play in the distillation of the family separations, as a story: the Orwellian debates over whether human children are being kept in cages. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "How to Look Away," 20 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

16 Sep 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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