Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English distillen, from Old French distiller, from Latin distīllāre.


  • IPA(key): [dɪˈstɪɫ]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪl
  • Hyphenation: dis‧till


distill (third-person singular simple present distills, present participle distilling, simple past and past participle distilled)

  1. (transitive) To subject a substance to distillation.
  2. (intransitive) To undergo or be produced by distillation.
  3. (transitive) To make by means of distillation, especially whisky.
  4. (transitive) To exude in small drops.
    Firs distill resin.
  5. (transitive) To impart in small quantities.
  6. (transitive) To extract the essence of; concentrate; purify.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 5:
      But flowers distill'd though they with winter meet,
      Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
      Little disappointed, then, she turned attention to "Chat of the Social World," gossip which exercised potent fascination upon the girl's intelligence. She devoured with more avidity than she had her food those pretentiously phrased chronicles of the snobocracy [...] distilling therefrom an acid envy that robbed her napoleon of all its savour.
  7. (intransitive) To trickle down or fall in small drops; ooze out.
  8. (intransitive) To be manifested gently or gradually.
  9. (intransitive) To drip or be wet with.

Derived terms[edit]