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aqua vitae

[vahy-tee, vee-tee] /ˈvaɪ ti, ˈvi ti/
spirituous liquor, as brandy or whiskey.
Origin of aqua vitae
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English aqua vite < Latin: water of life; cf. aquavit, whiskey Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aqua vitae
Historical Examples
  • That was all they wanted: their continual allowance of aqua vitae.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • I would give all the pohickory that was ever brewed by heathen for a toss of aqua vitae!

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
  • Thou wilt await at Cumnor Place my further orders; and, as thou livest, beware of the ale-bench and the aqua vitae flask.

    Kenilworth Sir Walter Scott
  • Bradford mentions "aqua vitae" as a constituent of their lunch on the exploring party of November 15.

British Dictionary definitions for aqua vitae

aqua vitae

/ˈviːtaɪ; ˈvaɪtiː/
an archaic name for brandy
Word Origin
Medieval Latin: water of life
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aqua vitae

early 15c., Latin, literally "water of life," an alchemical term for unrefined alcohol. Applied to brandy, whiskey, etc. from 1540s. Cf. whiskey, also French eau-de-vie "spirits, brandy," literally "water of life."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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