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

  • n. An acrid, oily, poisonous liquid mixture of amyl alcohols, occurring in incompletely distilled alcoholic liquids and used as a solvent and in the manufacture of explosives and pure amyl alcohols.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mixture of several higher-order alcohols (alcohols with more than two carbon atoms) formed as byproduct in the normal fermentation process. An excessive concentration, as in low-quality moonshine, causes unpleasant taste.

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

  • n. a mixture of amyl alcohols and propanol and butanol formed from distillation of fermented liquors


German Fusel, bad liquor, from Low German.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The word "fusel" comes from German Fusel, which is used to refer to low-quality alcoholic beverages in general, especially to inferior wines and spirits distilled with inadequate equipment. (Wiktionary)


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