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aqua vitae

[vahy-tee, vee-tee] /ˈvaɪ ti, ˈvi ti/
spirituous liquor, as brandy or whiskey.
Origin of aqua vitae
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English aqua vite < Latin: water of life; cf. aquavit, whiskey Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aqua-vitae
Historical Examples
  • Many a cask of ale and cider is on tap, and many a draught of spiced wine and aqua-vitae has been quaffed.

    Main Street Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for aqua-vitae

aqua vitae

/ˈviːtaɪ; ˈvaɪtiː/
an archaic name for brandy
Word Origin
Medieval Latin: water of life
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
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Word Origin and History for aqua-vitae

aqua vitae


early 15c., Latin, literally "water of life," an alchemical term for unrefined alcohol. Applied to brandy, whiskey, etc. from 1540s. Cf. whiskey, also French eau-de-vie "spirits, brandy," literally "water of life."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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