spirits of wine

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spirits of wine

(Chemistry) (functioning as singular or plural) another name for alcohol1


(ˈæl kəˌhɔl, -ˌhɒl)

1. Also called ethyl alcohol , grain alcohol, ethanol. a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid, C2H5OH, produced by yeast fermentation of carbohydrates or, synthetically, by hydration of ethylene: used chiefly as a solvent and in beverages and medicines.
2. an intoxicating liquor containing this liquid.
3. any of a class of chemical compounds having the general formula ROH, where R represents an alkyl group and –OH a hydroxyl group.
[1535–45; < New Latin < Medieval Latin < Arabic al-kuḥl the powdered antimony, the distillate]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spirits of wine - rectified ethyl alcohol
ethanol, ethyl alcohol, fermentation alcohol, grain alcohol - the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors; used pure or denatured as a solvent or in medicines and colognes and cleaning solutions and rocket fuel; proposed as a renewable clean-burning additive to gasoline
References in classic literature ?
Barbicane calculated the quantity of spirits of wine overflowed into the little vial soldered to the lower part of the instrument, and said:
The successive mountain ranges appeared like dim shadows, and the setting sun cast on the woodland a yellow gleam, much like that produced by the flame of spirits of wine. The water was white with the flying spray, and the wind lulled and roared again through the rigging: it was an ominous, sublime scene.
"You have only to wash his face and his leg in spirits of wine, and you will find that he is the same old Silver Blaze as ever."