One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A powerful solvent; specifically nitric acid.
2A strong alcoholic drink, an intoxicating spirit.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Guy de Chauliac's Grande Chirurgie. From strong + water, after post-classical Latin aqua fortis aquafortis.
strong water/ˌstrɒŋ ˈwɔːtə/
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