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Distillation (n.) The separation of the volatile parts of a substance from the more fixed; specifically, the operation of driving off gas or vapor from volatile liquids or solids, by heat in a retort or still, and the condensation of the products as far as possible by a cool receiver, alembic, or condenser; rectification; vaporization; condensation; as, the distillation of illuminating gas and coal, of alcohol from sour mash, or of boric acid in steam.