verb (used with object)
- to subject to a process of vaporization and subsequent condensation, as for purification or concentration.
- to extract the volatile components of by distillation; transform by distillation.
- to concentrate, purify, or obtain by or as by distillation: to distill whiskey from mash.
- to remove by distillation (usually followed by off or out): to distill out impurities.
- to extract the essential elements of; refine; abstract: She managed to distill her ideas into one succinct article.
- to let fall in drops; give forth in or as in drops: The cool of the night distills the dew.
verb (used without object)
- to undergo or perform distillation.
- to become vaporized and then condensed in distillation.
- to drop, pass, or condense as a distillate.
- to fall in drops; trickle; exude.
also distil, late 14c., from Old French distiller (14c.), from Latin distillare “trickle down in minute drops,” from dis- “apart” (see dis-) + stillare “to drip, drop,” from stilla “drop.” Related: Distilled; distilling.
- To subject a substance to distillation.
- To separate a distillate by distillation.
- To increase the concentration of, separate, or purify a substance by distillation.