Definition of decant in English:



[with object]
  • 1Gradually pour (wine, port, or another liquid) from one container into another, typically in order to separate out sediment.

    ‘he decanted the rich red liquid into some glasses’
    • ‘My husband was, as always, in charge of drinks and music and once the small sherries had been decanted he selected some light inoffensive background dross.’
    • ‘Even the waiters gathered momentum as the meal progressed, decanting the better Chardonnays and serving them in large Burgundy glasses.’
    • ‘Use a funnel to decant the olive oil into the bottle.’
    • ‘But infinitely preferable is to buy a bottle of red wine, decant it into two scrupulously clean half bottles, keep in the cool and dark, and drink one before t'other.’
    • ‘Some wines should also be decanted for breathing.’
    • ‘Any wine waiter worth his grapes will decant the wine before serving it.’
    • ‘This is why many red wines must be decanted before serving: to run the wine off from solid deposits.’
    • ‘Reasons for decanting The most obvious reason for decanting a wine is to separate it from any sediment that has formed in the bottle which not only looks unappetizing in the glass, but usually tastes bitter and/or astringent.’
    • ‘I decanted the wine and turned on some dinner music when the doorbell rang.’
    • ‘Just decant the wine by pouring it into a clean jug or decanter.’
    • ‘Our chosen red wine was decanted in front of us before being poured into our glasses.’
    • ‘But my customers expect a little something extra, and when we decant the wines or present the cork, that's something they're willing to pay for.’
    • ‘In today's technologically correct wine era, there is little or no need to decant any wine - red, white or fortified.’
    • ‘After you have extracted the essence, you can decant the water into a brown bottle.’
    • ‘You will get the best from this wine by decanting it at least an hour before drinking, and it should be left slightly warm.’
    • ‘Otis was decanting the left-over wine from the various bottles on the table into a Jerry can.’
    • ‘You have to decant the wine for it to get the required air.’
    • ‘If you're bringing in booze, decant it into plastic bottles and cups.’
    • ‘Award-winning chef David Wilson is a wine connoisseur, and he insists on all red wines being decanted as near as possible to their storage place, and as soon as they are taken off the rack.’
    • ‘Mrs Blower, 39, said she was speaking out to warn other pubs, hotels and restaurants to follow the instructions given with cleaning fluids and not to decant them into containers used for other purposes.’
    pour out, pour off, draw off, siphon off, drain, tap, tip, discharge, transfer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British Temporarily transfer (people) to another place.
      ‘tour coaches decant eager customers directly into the store’
      • ‘Once decanted into the new abode, I love unpacking and arranging stuff.’
      • ‘His commissions included compulsory land acquisition in the years immediately following the Second World War, when Swindon grew a great deal, largely due to an influx of people decanted from overcrowded areas of London.’
      • ‘In the 1950s, the great and the good - the people who really knew what was in the best interests of the lower orders - decided to bulldoze the slums and decant people into tower blocks.’
      • ‘But now there's coriander in the Co-op, tour buses that decant Europeans into places called the Skye Experience, and metropolitan types up for whizzy weekends of gastronomy and midges.’
      • ‘It is not uncommon for them to sit at a stop for 10 minutes while drivers chat to their friends or wait for inspectors, nor for them to break down and the passengers to have to be decanted.’
      • ‘Stacey told me that he finds the 40 oz. handgun somewhat more accurate than the 1955 vintage Smith K 32 which he next decanted from his shooting bag.’
      • ‘Every summer young British tourists are decanted from cut-price jets into the nightclubs of Laganas, Ayia Napa and Faliraki, where they set about rescuing the local economy.’
      • ‘The police car has decanted three or four cops, who are now quizzing a homeless guy who ‘lives’ opposite me.’
      • ‘As a last resort, we could try bringing back 18th-century bathing machines - funny little huts on wheels, in which ladies were trundled into the surf and decanted into the sea with their modesty intact.’
      • ‘Yorkshire could be one of the main winners from radical plans to decant about 20,000 civil servants out of London and move them into the English regions, it emerged yesterday.’


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin decanthare, from Latin de- ‘away from’ + canthus ‘edge, rim’ (used to denote the angular lip of a beaker), from Greek kanthos ‘corner of the eye’.