See more synonyms for distill on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to a process of vaporization and subsequent condensation, as for purification or concentration.
  2. to extract the volatile components of by distillation; transform by distillation.
  3. to concentrate, purify, or obtain by or as by distillation: to distill whiskey from mash.
  4. to remove by distillation (usually followed by off or out): to distill out impurities.
  5. to extract the essential elements of; refine; abstract: She managed to distill her ideas into one succinct article.
  6. to let fall in drops; give forth in or as in drops: The cool of the night distills the dew.
verb (used without object)
  1. to undergo or perform distillation.
  2. to become vaporized and then condensed in distillation.
  3. to drop, pass, or condense as a distillate.
  4. to fall in drops; trickle; exude.

Origin of distill

1325–75; Middle English distillen (< Anglo-French distiller) < Latin distillāre, variant of dēstillāre, equivalent to dē- de- + stillāre to drip
Related formsdis·till·a·ble, adjectivenon·dis·till·a·ble, adjectivere·dis·till, verb (used with object)re·dis·till·a·ble, adjectivere·dis·till·a·ble·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for distill

also distil, late 14c., from Old French distiller (14c.), from Latin distillare "trickle down in minute drops," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + stillare "to drip, drop," from stilla "drop." Related: Distilled; distilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

distill in Medicine


  1. To subject a substance to distillation.
  2. To separate a distillate by distillation.
  3. To increase the concentration of, separate, or purify a substance by distillation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.