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From French décanter, from Medieval Latin dēcanthāre, from dē- +‎ canthus (beak of a cup or jug).[1]


  • IPA(key): /dəˈkænt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ænt
  • Hyphenation: de‧cant


decant (third-person singular simple present decants, present participle decanting, simple past and past participle decanted)

  1. (transitive) To pour off (a liquid) gently, so as not to disturb the sediment.
    • 1908, Michael Faraday, The Chemical History of a Candle
      After washing, the insoluble lime soap is decomposed with hot dilute sulphuric acid. The melted fatty acids thus rise as an oil to the surface, when they are decanted.
  2. (transitive) To pour from one vessel into another.
    to decant wine
  3. (archaic, intransitive) To flow.
    • 1900, Sabine Baring-Gould, A Book of Dartmoor
      Swincombe, formerly Swan-combe, runs to the north of the ridge, and has the sources of its river in the Fox Tor mires and near Childe's Tomb. It runs north-east, and then abruptly passes north to decant into the West Dart.
  4. (science fiction) To remove a clone from its chamber, vat, or artificial womb.
  5. To rehouse people while their buildings are being refurbished or rebuilt.

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  1. ^ decant”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.