moonshine


moonshine

noun

  1. Informal. smuggled or illicitly distilled liquor, especially corn liquor as illicitly distilled chiefly in rural areas of the southern U.S.
  2. empty or foolish talk, ideas, etc.; nonsense.
  3. the light of the moon; moonlight.

noun

  1. another word for moonlight (def. 1)
  2. US and Canadian illegally distilled or smuggled whisky or other spirit
  3. foolish talk or thought

n.c.1500, “moonlight,” from moon (n.) + shine (n.). In figurative use, implying “appearance without substance,” from late 15c.; perhaps connected in that sense with notion of “moonshine in water” (cf. moonraker). Meaning “illicit liquor” is attested from 1785 (earliest reference is to that smuggled on the coasts of Kent and Sussex); moonlight also occasionally was used in this sense early 19c. As a verb from 1883. Related: Moonshiner (1860).

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