a vessel with a beaked cap or head, formerly used in distilling.
anything that transforms, purifies, or refines.

Origin of alembic

1350–1400; Middle English, variant of alambic < Medieval Latin alambicus < dialectal Arabic al the anbīq still < Greek ámbix cup Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alembic

Historical Examples of alembic

British Dictionary definitions for alembic



an obsolete type of retort used for distillation
anything that distils or purifies

Word Origin for alembic

C14: from Medieval Latin alembicum, from Arabic al-anbīq the still, from Greek ambix cup
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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper