From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Alcohol \Al"co*hol\ ([a^]l"k[-o]*h[o^]l), n. [Cf. F. alcool,
   formerly written alcohol, Sp. alcohol alcohol, antimony,
   galena, OSp. alcofol; all fr. Ar. al-kohl a powder of
   antimony or galena, to paint the eyebrows with. The name was
   afterwards applied, on account of the fineness of this
   powder, to highly rectified spirits, a signification unknown
   in Arabia. The Sp. word has both meanings. Cf. Alquifou.]
   1. An impalpable powder. [Obs.]
      [1913 Webster]

   2. The fluid essence or pure spirit obtained by distillation.
      [Obs.] --Boyle.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. Pure spirit of wine; pure or highly rectified spirit
      (called also ethyl alcohol or ethanol, CH3.CH2.OH);
      the spirituous or intoxicating element of fermented or
      distilled liquors, or more loosely a liquid containing it
      in considerable quantity. It is extracted by simple
      distillation from various vegetable juices and infusions
      of a saccharine nature, which have undergone vinous

   Note: [The ferementation is usually carried out by addition
         of brewer's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae to an
         aqueous solution containing carbohydrates.]
         [1913 Webster +PJC]

   Note: As used in the U. S. "Pharmacop[oe]ia," alcohol
         contains 91 per cent by weight of ethyl alcohol and 9
         per cent of water; and diluted alcohol (proof spirit)
         contains 45.5 per cent by weight of ethyl alcohol and
         54.5 per cent of water.
         [1913 Webster]

   4. (Organic Chem.) A class of compounds analogous to vinic
      alcohol in constitution. Chemically speaking, they are
      hydroxides of certain organic radicals; as, the radical
      ethyl forms common or ethyl alcohol (C2H5.OH); methyl
      forms methyl alcohol (CH3.OH) or wood alcohol; amyl
      forms amyl alcohol (C5H11.OH) or fusel oil, etc.
      [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

ethanol \eth"an*ol\ ([e^]th"[a^]n*[add]l), n. (Chem.)
   The organic compound C2H5.OH, the common alcohol which is
   the intoxicating agent in beer, wine, and other fermented and
   distilled liquors; called also ethyl alcohol. It is used
   pure or denatured as a solvent or in medicines and colognes
   and cleaning solutions, or mixed in gasoline as a fuel for
   automobiles, and as a rocket fuel (as in the V-2 rocket).

   Syn: ethyl alcohol, fermentation alcohol, grain alcohol.
        [WordNet 1.5]
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