Part of speech: noun
Origin: Old French, 13th century
The liquor resulting from concentrating the essence of a substance by heating or boiling, especially a medicinal preparation made from a plant.
Examples of Decoction in a sentence
"My grandmother fed her own decoction of medicinal herbs to anyone who was sick."
"To make a plant-based tincture, start with a decoction of the plant mixed with alcohol."
Popularity Over Time
“Decoction” entered English from the Old French “decoccion,” which was based on the Latin “decoquō,” meaning “I boil down.”
Did you Know?
“Decoction” and “concoction” share some similarities, but their differences are more important. A “decoction” is specifically a concentration of a single substance through heat — it comes from the Latin “dēcoquĕre,” meaning “to boil down.” A “concoction” is a combination of several substances merged together by heating. The “con” prefix comes from the Latin “concoquĕre,” meaning “to boil together.” “Concoction” could be used to describe pretty much any dish whipped up over the stove, but “decoction” will likely pop up in the kitchen for preparing jams, syrups, and herbal mixtures.