Definition of arrack in US English:


(also arak)


  • An alcoholic liquor typically distilled from the sap of the coconut palm or from rice.

    • ‘The ban on arrack had saved a lot of families, but the present Government had deviated from its promise to gradually implement a ban on toddy as well.’
    • ‘A healthy supply of arak, the strong local spirit, soon banishes any lingering shyness.’
    • ‘Also popular is arak, the anise-flavored alcohol produced in the region.’
    • ‘She represents those who are deprived of their land and forest for a bottle of arrack or a glassful of tea.’
    • ‘Another retrograde step by the government is postponing elections to the Agriculture Produce Market Committees for the third time and extending the arrack auction till August.’
    • ‘According to one of the three security officers at the warehouse, four masked men armed with a pistol entered the premises and forced them at gunpoint to gulp down a bottle of arrack, a strong alcoholic drink.’
    • ‘A heavy little cast-iron pan with one of the hessian napkins folded around the handle contained a fistful of gorgeous, buoyant prawns that had been cooked off in arrack to leave a heady aniseed whisper in the flesh.’
    • ‘Paunch was a chilled blend of arrack, a distilled palm sap, with sugar, citrus, water and spices.’
    • ‘Bull owners pride themselves on making their animals as aggressive as possible either by baiting them or feeding them large quantities of arrack, the local firewater.’
    • ‘A unique Lebanese alcoholic creation is arak, a colorless, 100-percent-alcohol beverage flavored with anise.’
    • ‘Drinking of arrack or country liquor has been such a problem that pressure from women in recent years has led to its prohibition.’
    • ‘Domestic products such as coconut toddy and herbal arrack of good quality should be produced on a large scale and sold under Government licence.’
    • ‘The 1990s saw illiterate poor women in the village of Dubagunta, Andhra Pradesh, launch a grass roots movement against the sale of arrack.’
    • ‘The local drink that is popular with Arabic dishes is arak, an anise-flavored liquor that is mixed with water and ice.’
    • ‘And there is a smell of arrack in the air as the men talk, the few that are willing to.’
    • ‘It has scenes of animals being forcibly fed arrack, non-stop beating to accelerate their pace during the race and other shocking images from the muddy tracks.’
    • ‘The police exhorted the villagers to keep away from the influence of alcohol and illicit distilled arrack in the interest of their health.’
    • ‘The local drink is known as arak, an anise-flavored beverage that is served mixed with ice and water.’


Early 17th century: from Arabic ‘araq ‘sweat’, from the phrase ‘arak al-tamr, denoting an alcoholic spirit made from dates.