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22.493 Keywords • 49.911 Synonyms • 5.295 Translations • 7.929 Pronunciations • 144.742 Cross-references

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alcohol

The origin of the name comes from the Arabic and is derived from "guhlu" (powdered galena for dyeing the eyelids and eyelashes). The Arabs called this "kuhul" and it had the meaning of the "most beautiful and finest". The term was then also used for liquids that were considered the essence or "spirit" of a substance. The Arabs will also see the invention of distillation attributed to alcohol (for medical purposes). This is where "al-kuhul-vini" is derived, the finest of wine (spirit of wine). The naturalist and doctor Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus (1493-1541) first used the term "spiritus vini" (spirit of wine) for the result of a distillation, and finally the terms spirit of wine and alcohol became identical. First mentioned in writing was "Alcool" in Germany in 1597.

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