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[lik-er or for 3, lik-wawr] /ˈlɪk ər or for 3, ˈlɪk wɔr/
a distilled or spirituous beverage, as brandy or whiskey, as distinguished from a fermented beverage, as wine or beer.
any liquid substance, as broth from cooked meats or vegetables.
Pharmacology. solution (def 6).
a solution of a substance, especially a concentrated one used in the industrial arts.
verb (used with object)
Informal. to furnish or ply with liquor to drink (often followed by up).
verb (used without object)
Informal. to drink large quantities of liquor (often followed by up).
Origin of liquor
1175-1225; < Latin: a liquid, orig. liquidity (liqu(ēre) to be liquid + -or -or1); replacing Middle English lic(o)ur < Old French (French liqueur) < Latin liquōrem, accusative of liquor
Related forms
liquory, adjective
antiliquor, adjective
Can be confused
liqueur, liquor.
2. juice, drippings. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for liquor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is never downright intoxicated, and never free from the effects of liquor.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • He had been drinking, and the warmth of the liquor was in his voice.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Still I confess that liquor did all the mischief, as I had drunk just enough to make me careless.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The liquor was sherry, and it took nine bottles of it to lay us both up.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Also, for the most part, they were just then more or less in liquor.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for liquor


any alcoholic drink, esp spirits, or such drinks collectively
any liquid substance, esp that in which food has been cooked
(pharmacol) a solution of a pure substance in water
(brewing) warm water added to malt to form wort
in liquor, drunk; intoxicated
(brewing) to steep (malt) in warm water to form wort; mash
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin, from liquēre to be liquid
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 liquor

c.1200, likur "any matter in a liquid state," from Old French licor "fluid, liquid; sap; oil" (Modern French liqueur), from Latin liquorem (nominative liquor) "liquidity, fluidity," also "a liquid, the sea," from liquere "be fluid, liquid" (see liquid (adj.)). Narrowed sense of "fermented or distilled drink" (especially wine) first recorded c.1300. To liquor up "get drunk" is from 1845. The form in English has been assimilated to Latin, but the pronunciation has not changed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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liquor in Medicine

liquor liq·uor (lĭk'ər)

  1. An aqueous solution, especially of a medicinal substance.

  2. An alcoholic beverage made by distillation rather than by fermentation.

  3. (lī'kwôr, lĭk'wôr) In anatomical nomenclature, a term for any of several body fluids.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for liquor


Related Terms

hard liquor, pot liquor

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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