Origin of the Word "Alcohol"

From the Arabic al-kuhul, a term applied to members of a group of chemical compounds and, in popular usage, to the
specific compound ethyl alcohol or ethanol. The Arabic word denotes
kohl, a fine powder of antimony used as an eye
makeup. The word
alcohol originally denoted any fine powder. The alchemists of medieval Europe later applied it to
essences obtained by distillation and this led to the current usage. It was not until the 18th century that the word came to designate the intoxicating ingredient in liquor. (SD xiv, www Encarta)