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cognac

[kohn-yak, kon-; French kaw-nyak] /ˈkoʊn yæk, ˈkɒn-; French kɔˈnyak/
noun
1.
(often initial capital letter) the brandy distilled in and shipped from the legally delimited area surrounding the town of Cognac, in W central France.
2.
any French brandy.
3.
any good brandy.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < French
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cognac

Cognac

/ˈkɒnjæk; French kɔɲak/
noun
1.
a town in SW France: centre of the district famed for its brandy. Pop: 19 534 (1999)
2.
(sometimes not capital) a high-quality grape brandy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cognac
n.

1590s, Coniacke, "wine produced in Cognac," the region in western France. The sense of "brandy" is 1755, shortened from 17c. cognac brandy, which was distilled from cognac wine. The place name is from Medieval Latin Comniacum, from the personal name Cominius and the Gallo-Roman suffix -acum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for cognac

Cognac

town, Charente departement, Poitou-Charentes region, western France. It lies 20 miles (30 km) west-northwest of Angouleme. The town gives its name to the brandy distilled there and exported all over the world. The distilling of cognac is its main industry and provides the impetus for the manufacture of casks and bottles, packaging materials, and printing works. Cognac was the birthplace of King Francis I (reigned 1515-47). Its possession was contested during the Wars of Religion. An air force pilot's school is located there. Pop. (1999) city, 19,534; urban area, 44,051.

Learn more about Cognac with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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