Definition of distill
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
2a : to purify or transform (a liquid) by successive evaporation and condensation : to subject to or transform by distillation distill molasses into rumb : to obtain by or as if by distillation distill whiskey able to distill humor from personal lossc : to extract the essence of : concentrate distill the experience into a poem
1a : to fall or materialize in drops or in a fine moistureb : to appear slowly or in small quantities at a time
2a : to undergo distillationb : to perform distillation
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 of distill from the Web
Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave., 414-539-4343) distills all the pieces of modern craft brewing into one brewery and taproom.
The Memorial weekend sort of distills down what audiences thought of the May lineup.
Played with a sort of oblong pointy ball, the game has a series of complicated rules that EA will attempt to distill down into a videogame played with a standard non-motion controller.
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
First Known Use: 14th century
DISTILL Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of distill for Students
: to make (a liquid) pure by heating it until it becomes a gas and then cooling it until it becomes a liquid distill water
Medical Definition of distill
transitive verb: 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: to undergo distillation
2: to condense or drop from a still after distillation
Seen and Heard
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