aqua vitae

aqua vitae

[vahy-tee, vee-tee]
noun
2.
spirituous liquor, as brandy or whiskey.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English aqua vite < Latin: water of life; cf. aquavit, whiskey

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World English Dictionary
aqua vitae (ˈviːtaɪ, ˈvaɪtiː)
 
n
an archaic name for brandy
 
[Medieval Latin: water of life]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

aqua vitae
from L., lit. "water of life," late 15c. as an alchemical term for unrefined alcohol. Applied to brandy, whiskey, etc. from 1540s. Cf. whiskey, Fr. eau-de-vie "spirits, brandy," lit. "water of life."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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