1 a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one); "it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher" [syn: rejoinder, return, riposte, replication, comeback, counter]
2 a vessel where substances are distilled or decomposed by heat v : answer back [syn: come back, repay, return, riposte, rejoin]
EtymologyLatin retorquere 'twist back'; re- + -tort
- A sharp or witty reply, or one which turns an argument against its originator.
- A flask with a rounded base and a long neck that is bent down
and tapered, used to heat
a liquid for distillation.
- 1893, A large curved retort was boiling furiously in the bluish flame of a Bunsen burner, and the distilled drops were condensing into a two-litre measure. — Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Naval Treaty’ (Norton 2005, p.670)
- A container in which material is subjected to high temperatures as part of an industrial manufacturing process, especially during the smelting and forging of metal.
In a chemistry laboratory, a retort is a glassware device used for distillation or dry distillation of substances. It consists of a spherical vessel with a long downward-pointing neck. The liquid to be distilled is placed in the vessel and heated. The neck acts as a condenser, allowing the evaporated vapors to condense and flow along the neck to a collection vessel placed underneath.
In the chemical industry, a retort is an airtight vessel in which substances are heated for a chemical reaction producing gaseous products to be collected in a collection vessel or for further processing.
HistoryRetorts were widely used by alchemists, and images of retorts appear in many drawings and sketches of their laboratories. Before the advent of modern condensers, retorts were used by many prominent chemists, such as Antoine Lavoisier and Jöns Berzelius.
Role in analytical chemistryIn laboratory use, due to advances in technology, especially the invention of the Liebig condenser, retorts have largely been rendered obsolete. However, some laboratory techniques that involve simple distillation and do not require sophisticated apparatus may use a retort as a substitute for more complex distillation equipment.
retort in Danish: Retort
retort in German: Retorte
retort in Spanish: Retorta
retort in French: Cornue (verrerie)
retort in Hebrew: אביק
retort in Dutch: Retort
retort in Japanese: レトルト
retort in Polish: Retorta (laboratorium)
retort in Russian: Реторта
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