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aqua vitae Line breaks: aqua vitae
Pronunciation: /ˌakwə ˈviːtʌɪ/
/ˌakwə ˈvʌɪtiː/

Definition of aqua vitae in English:


[mass noun]
Strong alcoholic spirit, especially brandy.
Example sentences
  • This book even shows the origins of aqua vitae, akvavit and usquebaugh, all very important substances today!
  • The use of more sophisticated equipment eventually enabled alchemists to produce aqua ardens, ‘burning water’, or an alcohol and water compound that would burn, and aqua vitae, ‘water of life’, or alcohol.
  • However, the first written record appears in the Exchequer Rolls of 1494, noting that a certain Friar Cor was in possession of eight bolls of malt to produce aqua vitae (our ‘water of life’).


Late Middle English: from Latin, literally 'water of life'; compare with aquavit, eau de vie, usquebaugh, and whisky.

Words that rhyme with aqua vitae

curriculum vitae

Definition of aqua vitae in:

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