Ultimately from an Arabic term which first entered European alchemical jargon, and then entered general use. It reached English in the 1500s via Old Spanish and/or Old French alcohol (modern French alcool).
Other authorities, including Rachel Hajar, suggest that the ultimate etymon was the classical Arabic term اَلْغَوْل (al-ḡawl) or غَوْل (ḡawl, “bad effect, evil result of headache”) (as used in Qur’an verse 37:47 (Arabic), which refers to drink in which there is no "ghawl").
The word's meaning became restricted to "spirit of wine" (ethanol) in the 18th century, then was extended to the entire family of substances which are now called "alcohol" in modern chemistry after 1850.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæl.kə.hɒl/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈæl.kə.hɔl/, /ˈæl.kə.hɑl/
- (US, nonstandard) IPA(key): /ˈɑl.kə.hɔl/, /ˈɑl.kə.hɑl/
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Audio (UK) (file)
- (organic chemistry, countable) Any of a class of organic compounds (such as ethanol) containing a hydroxyl functional group (-OH).
- (colloquial) ethanol
- (uncountable) Beverage containing ethanol.
- (obsolete) Any very fine powder.
- See also Wikisaurus:alcoholic beverage
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- ^ 1672 per the OED
- ^ Etymology of Alcohol
- ^ Nicolae Sfetcu, Health & Drugs: Disease, Prescription & Medication (2014)
alcohol m (plural alcohols)
- Hyphenation: al‧co‧hol
alcohol m (plural alcoholen)
- (countable, organic chemistry) alcohol (class of compounds)
- (uncountable) alcohol (ethanol specifically)
- (beverage): sterke drank
alcohol m (plural alcohois)
Third declension neuter.
- alcohol in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700, pre-publication website, 2005-2016
alcohol m (plural alcoholes)