What does the word alcohol mean?
An Arabic word, formerly used for an impalpable powder, and signifying 'very subtile, much divided.' At the present day it is applied to highly rectified spirit of wine :-see Spiritus rectificatus or rectified spirit, distilled from dried subcarbonate of potassa. In the Ph. U. S., Alcohol is rectified spirit of the specific gravity 0. 835. The Dublin college has a spiritus fortior, used in the preparation of certain essences, whose specific gravity is. 818. Alcohol, absolute alcohol, of the Edinburgh and Dublin Pharmacopoeias, is of specific gravity. 797. Alcohol is an inflammable liquor, lighter than water, of a warm, acrid taste, colourless, transparent, and of a pungent, aromatic smell. It is the product of the distillation of vinous liquors; is miscible with water in all proportions, and is the direct solvent of resins, balsams, &c. Various other vegetable principles are soluble in it, and hence it is used, in different states of concentration, in the preparation of elixirs, tinctures, essences, &c. Alcohol acts on the animal body as a powerful stimulus: as such, in a dilute form, it is used in the prevention and cure of disease. Its habitual and inordinate use is the cause of many serious affections, of a chronic character especially, as visceral obstructions, dropsy, &c.
Usage examples for alcohol
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