Alcohol Al"co*hol ([a^]l"k[-o]*h[o^]l), n. [Cf. F. alcool, formerly written alcohol, Sp. alcohol alcohol, antimony, galena, OSp. alcofol; all fr. Ar. al-kohl a powder of antimony or galena, to paint the eyebrows with. The name was afterwards applied, on account of the fineness of this powder, to highly rectified spirits, a signification unknown in Arabia. The Sp. word has both meanings. Cf. {Alquifou}.] 1. An impalpable powder. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

2. The fluid essence or pure spirit obtained by distillation. [Obs.] --Boyle. [1913 Webster]

3. Pure spirit of wine; pure or highly rectified spirit (called also {ethyl alcohol} or {ethanol}, {CH3.CH2.OH}); the spirituous or intoxicating element of fermented or distilled liquors, or more loosely a liquid containing it in considerable quantity. It is extracted by simple distillation from various vegetable juices and infusions of a saccharine nature, which have undergone vinous fermentation.

Note: [The ferementation is usually carried out by addition of brewer's yeast, {Saccharomyces cerevisiae} to an aqueous solution containing carbohydrates.] [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: As used in the U. S. ``Pharmacop[oe]ia,'' alcohol contains 91 per cent by weight of ethyl alcohol and 9 per cent of water; and diluted alcohol (proof spirit) contains 45.5 per cent by weight of ethyl alcohol and 54.5 per cent of water. [1913 Webster]

4. (Organic Chem.) A class of compounds analogous to vinic alcohol in constitution. Chemically speaking, they are hydroxides of certain organic radicals; as, the radical ethyl forms common or {ethyl alcohol} ({C2H5.OH}); methyl forms {methyl alcohol} ({CH3.OH}) or {wood spirit}; amyl forms {amyl alcohol} ({C5H11.OH}) or {fusel oil}, etc. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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