- a vessel with a beaked cap or head, formerly used in distilling.
- anything that transforms, purifies, or refines.
Origin of alembic
Examples from the Web for alembic
This is the crucible from which is distilled the alembic of power.The Life Radiant
A French physician, who travelled in China, says he never saw an alembic or distillatory apparatus in the whole country.
And gold they prove, when submitted to the test of the alembic.The Flag of Distress
Better perhaps the alembic and the pentagon than the faro-table and the dice-box.Mohawks, Volume 1 of 3
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
In some countries, the alembic is used as a condenser, instead of a worm.Popular Technology, Vol. I (of 2)
- an obsolete type of retort used for distillation
- anything that distils or purifies
Word Origin and History for alembic
late 14c., from Middle French alambic (13c.), via Old Spanish, from Arabic al-anbiq "distilling flask," from Greek ambix "cup," of unknown, possibly Semitic, origin. Often spelled limbeck 15c.-17c.