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aqua vitae

[vahy-tee, vee-tee]
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noun
  1. alcohol.
  2. spirituous liquor, as brandy or whiskey.
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Origin of aqua vitae

1375–1425; late Middle English aqua vite < Latin: water of life; cf. aquavit, whiskey
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aqua vitae

Historical Examples

  • Many a cask of ale and cider is on tap, and many a draught of spiced wine and aqua-vitae has been quaffed.

    Main Street

    Nathaniel Hawthorne


British Dictionary definitions for aqua vitae

aqua vitae

noun
  1. an archaic name for brandy
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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

Word Origin and History for aqua vitae

n.

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper