aqua vitae (n.)
also aqua-vitae, early 15c., Latin, literally "water of life," an alchemical term for unrefined alcohol. It was applied to brandy, whiskey, etc. from 1540s. For the elements, see aqua- + vital; also see aqua. Compare whiskey, also French eau-de-vie "spirits, brandy," literally "water of life."
updated on September 24, 2022
Dictionary entries near aqua vitae