spir·​i·​tu·​ous ˈspir-i-chə-wəs How to pronounce spirituous (audio)
: containing or impregnated with alcohol obtained by distillation
spirituous liquors

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The state of Arizona changed the definition of how their products are classified, from flavor extracts to spirituous liquor. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 7 May 2021 Waynesville: Nana & Papa 343, L.L.C., doing business as Hammel House, a bed and breakfast/restaurant at 121 S. Main St., is seeking approval to allow the sale beer, wine and mixed beverages, and spirituous liquor. Jennie Key, The Enquirer, 31 Oct. 2020 Retail and wholesale sales of high-proof, spirituous liquor were at $119.7 million for April, down from more than $130 million in March. Marc Bona, cleveland, 12 May 2020 What harm could such a diminutive, charming quantity of spirituous liquid possibly wreak on an otherwise-subdued evening? Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, 14 Jan. 2020 That flavor profile — dark, spirituous, bitter — is recurring, but several entries are more lighthearted. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Feb. 2018 In the desert, spirituous liquors excite only disgust. Henry David Thoreau, The Atlantic, 6 Oct. 2017 See More

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

Word History


probably from French spiritueux, from Latin spiritus spirit

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spirituous was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near spirituous

Cite this Entry

“Spirituous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirituous. Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


spir·​i·​tu·​ous ˈspir-ich-(ə-)wəs How to pronounce spirituous (audio) -ich-əs How to pronounce spirituous (audio)
: containing or impregnated with alcohol obtained by distillation

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