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A dry colorless plum brandy.
Word History: Though colorless itself, slivovitz is made from bluish plums, and the name for this kind of brandy or schnapps is of Slavic origin and ultimately comes from the Indo-European root meaning "blue." The Slavic words for "plum," such as Serbo-Croatian šljiva, Czech slíva, and Russian sliva, are related to Latin līvidus, "bluish, bruise-colored," from which we get livid, a word synonymous with our black-and-blue when used to describe the discoloration caused by a bruise. The Indo-European root *sleiə-, "bluish," from which the Slavic and the Latin words are descended, has another descendant in English associated with alcohol, sloe, the name of a small sour plum of a dark purplish color. Many who have never seen this type of plum have tasted it in sloe gin, which is flavored with sloes.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
slivovitz(ˈslɪvəvɪts; ˈsliːvə-) ,
(Brewing) a plum brandy from E Europe
[from Serbo-Croat šljivovica, from sljiva plum]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
sliv•o•vitz(ˈslɪv ə vɪts, -wɪts, ˈʃlɪv-)
a slightly bitter plum brandy from E Europe.
[1895–1900; < German Sliwowitz < Serbo-Croatian šljȉvovica, derivative of šljȉva plum]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.