Retort - Encyclopedia


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RETORT (Lat. retorquere, to twist or turn back), a word used in two distinct meanings: (1) a sharp reply, answer to an argument, statement or charge; (2) a vessel used in chemistry and manufacture. The chemical retort is a flask-shaped or bulbous vessel made of glass, earthenware or metal, with a neck, bent downwards, which leads to a receiver; such vessels are particularly used for distillation. The name is also given to the apparatus, varying in size and shape, used in the distinctive distillation of various substances, such as coal, in the manufacture of gas.

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