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Entered in the 1500s from French alcohol or Spanish alcohol, derived from the Medieval Latin rendering alcohol transmitted in medical or alchemical literature of Arabic اَلْكُحْل (al-kuḥl, “kohl”), which in Andalusian Arabic also bore the form كُحُول (kuḥūl), قُحُول (quḥūl); bearing thus the meaning of stibnite first, then generalized in meaning to a powder obtained by triturating a material, then also to liquids obtained by boiling down, and specialized to mean spirit of wine, ethanol, in the 18th century, then the narrow chemical sense after 1850.
- Bartholomew Traheron in his 1543 translation of John of Vigo introduces the word as a term used by "barbarous" (Moorish) authors for "fine powder": the barbarous auctours use alcohol, or (as I fynde it sometymes wryten) alcofoll, for moost fine poudre.
- William Johnson in his 1657 Lexicon Chymicum glosses the word as antimonium sive stibium. By extension, the word came to refer to any fluid obtained by distillation, including "alcohol of wine", the distilled essence of wine.
- Libavius in Alchymia (1594) has vini alcohol vel vinum alcalisatum.
- Johnson (1657) glosses alcohol vini as quando omnis superfluitas vini a vino separatur, ita ut accensum ardeat donec totum consumatur, nihilque fæcum aut phlegmatis in fundo remaneat.
- Some authorities, including Rachel Hajar, suggest that the ultimate etymon was the Arabic term اَلْغَوْل (al-ḡawl, “bad effect, evil result of headache”) (as used in Qur’an verse 37:47, but this word is rather poetical and could for topical reasons not have been picked up from Arabic by Medieval writers, and aside from that the relation to stibium is well documented.
- (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/
Audio (US) (file) 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) Beverages containing ethanol, collectively.
- (obsolete) Any very fine powder.
- See also Thesaurus: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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
alcohol m (plural alcohols)
- alkohol (superseded)
alcohol m (plural alcoholen)
- (countable, organic chemistry) alcohol (class of compounds)
- (uncountable) alcohol (ethanol specifically)
- (beverage): sterke drank
alcohol m (plural alcohois)
- kohl, collyrium, stibium
- any other powder obtained from triturating a material
- alcohol ferrī ― rubbed file dust of iron
- distilled essence, spirit
Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).
- 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)