distill

verb
dis·​till | \ di-ˈstil How to pronounce distill (audio) \
variants: or less commonly distil
distilled; distilling

Definition of distill

transitive verb

1 : to let fall, exude, or precipitate (see precipitate entry 1 sense 3b) in drops or in a wet mist some caves are dry, others distill water from invisible rifts— Norman Douglas
2a : 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

1a : to fall or materialize in drops or in a fine moisture
b : to appear slowly or in small quantities at a time
2a : to undergo distillation
b : to perform distillation

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Synonyms for distill

Synonyms

dribble, drip, drop, trickle

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Examples of distill in a Sentence

They distill the whiskey from malted barley. He has perfectly distilled the meaning of the holiday into a poem.

Recent Examples on the Web

Portrait illustrations must distill some essence of the human experience. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Beasts, monsters and a master artistic storyteller," 31 July 2019 Powerful individual photographs seem to distill entire movies. Robert Taylor, The Mercury News, "Museo Italo Americano exhibit in SF will make you feel like you’re in a Fellini movie," 29 July 2019 Along with their acclaimed Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and other brews, the masters here distill spirits and make multiple varietals of wine. Danica Farley, Orange County Register, "A whale of a time in Nantucket," 17 July 2019 Chita, set against the backdrop of the Aichi Prefecture’s coast, is the only to distill grain whiskies. Hannah Lott-schwartz, Fortune, "Inside Japan’s Oldest Whisky Distillery," 16 June 2019 Haiti’s bayakou perfectly distill many of our issues about defecation. National Geographic, "They perform an essential health service—in secret," 17 June 2019 More Spirits Science Per the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), producers must distill the white wine twice in a copper still called an Alambic Charentais. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "How Cognac Is Made (and How to Enjoy It)," 4 June 2019 On the Scent: Carran Tucked into the rocky highlands of the Carran, the Burren Perfumery distills the essence of the surrounding flora into small-batch fragrances, lotions, soaps, and candles. Serena Renner, National Geographic, "Road trip through the Irish countryside’s wild beauty," 12 Mar. 2019 The way Mazin distills the complexity of the situation into potent dialogue is a marvel. Overarching all of the above is Chernobyl’s most vital quality: Its devastating exposure of gigantic political failure. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Chernobyl: Devastating Indictment of Socialism, Not Trumpism," 5 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of distill

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

History and Etymology for distill

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

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Statistics for distill

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distill

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

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More Definitions for distill

distill

verb

English Language Learners Definition of distill

: 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

verb
dis·​till
variants: also distil \ di-​ˈstil \
distilled; distilling

Kids Definition of distill

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

Other Words from distill

distiller noun

distill

verb
dis·​till
variants: also distil \ dis-​ˈtil How to pronounce distil (audio) \
distilled; distilling

Medical Definition of distill

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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More from Merriam-Webster on distill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for distill

Spanish Central: Translation of distill

Nglish: Translation of distill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distill for Arabic Speakers

Comments on distill

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