One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The action or an act of refining something or making something purer or more perfect; distillation; the result of this.
2Over-refinement of language or ideas; excessive subtlety; an instance of this.
Early 17th century. From post-classical Latin alembication-, alembicatio from alembicus, alembicum + classical Latin -ātiō.
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