Definition for AL'CO-HOL

AL'CO-HOL, n. [Ar. كَحَلَ kahala; Heb. Syr. and Eth. כהל, to paint with a preparation of powder of antimony. The Oriental females still practice the painting of the eyebrows with this material. The name was applied to this substance, and afterwards to other fine powders, and to highly rectified spirits.]

Pure or highly rectified spirit, obtained from fermented liquors by distillation. It consists of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. It is extremely light and inflammable, and a powerful stimulant and antiseptic. This is the usual sense of the word; but originally, in Arabic, it signified a fine impalpable powder, in which sense it is still used. – Encyc.

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