distill

verb dis·till \ di-ˈstil \
variants: or less commonly distil
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of distill

distilled; distilling
transitive verb
1 : to let fall, exude, or precipitate (see 1precipitate 3b) in drops or in a wet mist
  • some caves are dry, others distill water from invisible rifts
  • —Norman Douglas
2 a : to purify or transform (a liquid) by successive evaporation and condensation : to subject to or transform by distillation
  • distill molasses into rum
b : to obtain by or as if by distillation
  • distill whiskey
  • able to distill humor from personal loss
c : to extract the essence of : concentrate
  • distill the experience into a poem
intransitive verb
1 a : to fall or materialize in drops or in a fine moisture
b : to appear slowly or in small quantities at a time
2 a : to undergo distillation
b : to perform distillation

Examples of distill in a Sentence

  1. They distill the whiskey from malted barley.

  2. He has perfectly distilled the meaning of the holiday into a poem.

Recent Examples of distill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of distill

Middle English distillen, from Anglo-French distiller, from Late Latin distillare, alteration of Latin destillare, from de- + stillare to drip, from stilla drop

distill Synonyms

Synonyms
drip (also distil), dribble, drop, trickle
Related Words
drizzle, sprinkle; flow, pour, roll, run, stream; cascade, gutter, riffle, ripple; bleed, exude, ooze, seep, weep; discharge
Near Antonyms
gush, spout, spurt

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


DISTILL Defined for English Language Learners

distill

verb

Definition of distill for English Language Learners

  • : to make (a liquid) pure by heating it until it becomes a gas and then cooling it until it is a liquid again : to purify (a liquid) by distillation

  • : to make (a strong alcoholic drink) by using this process

  • : to take the most important parts of something and put them in a different and usually improved form


DISTILL Defined for Kids

distill

verb dis·till
variants: also distil \di-ˈstil\

Definition of distill for Students

distilled; distilling
: to make (a liquid) pure by heating it until it becomes a gas and then cooling it until it becomes a liquid
  • distill water

distiller

noun

Medical Dictionary

distill

verb dis·till
variants: also distil play \dis-ˈtil\

medical Definition of distill

distilled; distilling
transitive verb
1 : to subject to or transform by distillation
2 : to obtain by or as if by distillation
3 : to obtain an extract from (as a plant) by infusion and distillation
  • making medicines by distilling herbs
intransitive verb
1 : to undergo distillation
2 : to condense or drop from a still after distillation


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