Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An alcoholic liquor originally distilled from fermented wheat mash but now also made from a mash of rye, corn, or potatoes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A clear distilled alcoholic liquor made from grain mash
  • n. A serving of the above beverage
  • n. Neutral spirits distilled (or treated after distillation) so as to have no distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Russian drink distilled from rye.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sort of whisky or brandy generally drunk in Russia, properly distilled from rye, but sometimes from potatoes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. unaged colorless liquor originating in Russia

Etymologies

Russian, diminutive of voda, water; see wed-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Slavic voda, woda, meaning water, plus the diminutive suffix -ka. Historical documentary research of V. Pokhlyobkin suggests the derivation via the usage "dilution (of distillate) with water", as used in expressions "vodka of grain wine" and similar; хлебное вино ("grain wine") is an archaic Russian name for vodka. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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