Definition of DISTILL


Distill is a verb that primarily refers to the process of purifying a liquid by heating it to create vapor, then cooling and condensing the vapor back into liquid form, separating it from impurities or other substances. It can be understood in various contexts:

Separation Technique: As a verb, distill describes a separation technique used in chemistry and chemical engineering to purify liquids or to separate volatile components from non-volatile ones based on differences in their boiling points.

Vaporization and Condensation: During distillation, the liquid is heated to its boiling point, causing it to vaporize. The vapor is then cooled and condensed back into a liquid, resulting in the separation of the desired component from the mixture.

Simple Distillation: Simple distillation is used to separate components with significantly different boiling points. It is suitable for purifying liquids and removing volatile impurities but may not be effective for separating closely boiling components.

Fractional Distillation: Fractional distillation is employed when the components of a mixture have similar boiling points. It utilizes a fractionating column to achieve multiple vaporization-condensation cycles, leading to enhanced separation efficiency.

Chemical Production: Distillation is widely used in industrial processes such as petroleum refining, chemical synthesis, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and food and beverage production for the purification of solvents, fuels, essential oils, and alcoholic beverages.

Laboratory Experimentation: Distillation is a common laboratory technique for isolating and purifying organic compounds, analyzing volatile substances, and determining their boiling points, enabling researchers to obtain high-purity samples for analysis or synthesis.

Resource Recovery: Distillation can be employed in environmental engineering for resource recovery and wastewater treatment, separating and concentrating valuable components from industrial effluents or contaminated water streams.

Energy Consumption: Distillation processes may consume significant amounts of energy, particularly in industrial-scale operations, leading to efforts to optimize energy efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and explore alternative separation methods.

In summary, distill is a verb that describes a process of purifying liquids through vaporization and condensation, widely utilized in chemistry, industry, and laboratory settings for separating components, purifying substances, and recovering valuable resources, with implications for chemical production, environmental engineering, and energy management.

Examples of DISTILL in a sentence

  • The distillery uses traditional methods to distill whiskey.
  • He learned how to distill essential oils from various plants.
  • The chemist worked to distill a pure sample of the compound.
  • The process of distilling water removes impurities and contaminants.
  • She sought to distill complex concepts into easily understandable terms for her students.
  • The author spent years researching to distill the essence of the historical event into a novel.
  • The winemaker uses a copper still to distill the wine into brandy.
  • His advice was distilled from years of experience in the field.

Origin of DISTILL

The term distill is derived from the Latin word “distillare,” which is a combination of “dis-” meaning “apart” or “away” and “stillare” meaning “to drip” or “to drop.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Dis-: Prefix indicating “apart” or “away.”
  • Stillare (Latin): Referring to “to drip” or “to drop.”
  • Distillare (Latin): Combining “dis-” and “stillare,” indicating “to drip apart” or “to drop away.”
  • Distill: Verb form of “distillare,” indicating the process of extracting the essence or purifying a substance through heating and condensation.

Therefore, “distill” originally described the process of extracting the essence or purifying a substance through heating and condensation.


  • Extract
  • Purify
  • Concentrate
  • Refine
  • Clarify
  • Condense
  • Separate
  • Extract


  • Dilute
  • Mix
  • Combine
  • Blur
  • Muddle
  • Complicate
  • Confuse
  • Cloud


  • Distillation
  • Essence
  • Extractor
  • Purification
  • Concentration
  • Refinement
  • Clarification
  • Condensation

🌐 🇬🇧 DISTILL in other languages

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