Alcohol Definition

ălkə-hôl, -hŏl
A colorless, volatile, pungent liquid, C2H5OH: it can be burned as fuel (10-15% of gasohol), is used in industry and medicine, and is the intoxicating element of whiskey, wine, beer, and other fermented or distilled liquors: classed as a depressant drug.
Webster's New World
Any intoxicating liquor with this liquid in it.
Webster's New World
The drinking of such liquors.
Alcohol was his downfall.
Webster's New World
A class of organic compounds, including ethyl or methyl (wood) alcohol, that contain one or more hydroxyl groups (OH) and form esters in reactions with acids.
Webster's New World
Any of a series of hydroxyl compounds, the simplest of which are derived from saturated hydrocarbons, have the general formula Cn H2n+1 OH, and include ethanol and methanol.
American Heritage Medicine

Other Word Forms of Alcohol



Origin of Alcohol

  • Bartholomew Traheron in his 1543 translation of John of Vigo introduces the word as a term used by "barbarous" (Moorish) authors for "fine powder": the barbarous auctours use alcohol, or (as I fynde it sometymes wryten) alcofoll, for moost fine poudre.

    From Wiktionary

  • William Johnson in his 1657 Lexicon Chymicum glosses the word as antimonium sive stibium. By extension, the word came to refer to any fluid obtained by distillation, including "alcohol of wine", the distilled essence of wine.

    From Wiktionary

  • Medieval Latin fine metallic powder, especially of antimony from Arabic al-kuḥl al- the kuḥl powder of antimony kx̣l in Semitic roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Johnson (1657) glosses alcohol vini as quando omnis superfluitas vini a vino separatur, ita ut accensum ardeat donec totum consumatur, nihilque fæcum aut phlegmatis in fundo remaneat.

    From Wiktionary

  • Libavius in Alchymia (1594) has vini alcohol vel vinum alcalisatum.

    From Wiktionary

Find Similar Words

Find similar words to alcohol using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With