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[dih-kant] /dɪˈkænt/
verb (used with object)
to pour (wine or other liquid) gently so as not to disturb the sediment.
to pour (a liquid) from one container to another.
Origin of decant
1625-35; < Medieval Latin dēcanthāre, equivalent to Latin dē- de- + Medieval Latin canth(us) spout, rim of a vessel (Latin: iron band round a wheel < Greek kánthos corner of the eye, tire) + -āre infinitive suffix
Related forms
[dee-kan-tey-shuh n] /ˌdi kænˈteɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decantation
  • Take care to avoid, as much as feasible, the decantation of coarser particles of the sample.
  • Deposits containing aggregates which display a history of coating problems require decantation.
  • Wash the resin repeatedly by decantation until the supernatant water is free of foam and turbidity.
  • Care should be taken to avoid, as much as possible, the decantation of the coarse particles of the sample.
  • The sodium soaps are soluble in the glycerol phase and must be isolated after neutralization by decantation as fatty acids.
  • The processes of resuspension, centrifugation, and decantation are continued until the supernatant suspension is fairly clear.
British Dictionary definitions for decantation


to pour (a liquid, such as wine) from one container to another, esp without disturbing any sediment
(transitive) to rehouse (people) while their homes are being rebuilt or refurbished
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin dēcanthāre, from canthus spout, rim; see canthus
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 decantation



1630s, "pour off the clear liquid from a solution by gently tipping the vessel," originally an alchemical term, from French décanter, perhaps from Medieval Latin decanthare "to pour from the edge of a vessel," from de- + Medieval Latin canthus "corner, lip of a jug," from Latin cantus, canthus "iron rim around a carriage wheel." Related: Decanted; decanting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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