distill

When you distill something, you are boiling it down to its essence — its most important part. Whether it's alcohol or ideas, the distilled part is the most powerful.

The original meaning of distill comes from the process of making alcohol, known as distilling, in which all the impurities of a substance are vaporized and its pure, high-alcohol condensation collected. Distill eventually came to mean any process in which the essence of something is revealed. If you take notes at a lecture and then turn them into an essay for your professor, you're distilling your notes into something more pure and exact. At least, that's what you hope you're doing.

Definitions of distill
  1. verb
    undergo condensation; change from a gaseous to a liquid state and fall in drops
    “The acid distills at a specific temperature”
    synonyms: condense, distil
    condense
    develop due to condensation
    condense
    remove water from
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    type of:
    flux, liquefy, liquify
    become liquid or fluid when heated
  2. verb
    remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation
    synonyms: make pure, purify, sublimate
    distil
    undergo the process of distillation
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    types:
    rectify, refine
    reduce to a fine, unmixed, or pure state; separate from extraneous matter or cleanse from impurities
    purge
    rid of impurities
    type of:
    ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
    to make better
  3. verb
    undergo the process of distillation
    synonyms: distil
    distil, extract
    extract by the process of distillation
    make pure, purify, sublimate
    remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation
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    type of:
    change
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  4. verb
    extract by the process of distillation
    distill the essence of this compound”
    synonyms: distil, extract
    distil
    undergo the process of distillation
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    types:
    moonshine
    distill (alcohol) illegally; produce moonshine
    type of:
    create, make
    make or cause to be or to become
  5. verb
    give off (a liquid)
    synonyms: distil
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    type of:
    exudate, exude, ooze, ooze out, transude
    release (a liquid) in drops or small quantities
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