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alchemy

play
noun al·che·my \ˈal-kə-mē\

Simple Definition of alchemy

  • : a science that was used in the Middle Ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold

  • : a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of alchemy

  1. 1 :  a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life

  2. 2 :  a power or process of transforming something common into something special

  3. 3 :  an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting

alchemical

play \-mi-kəl\ also

alchemic

play \al-ˈke-mik\ adjective

alchemically

play \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of alchemy in a sentence

  1. She practiced her alchemy in the kitchen, turning a pile of vegetables into a delicious salad.

  2. The company hoped for some sort of economic alchemy that would improve business.



The History of Alchemy

The medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy that focused on the attempt to change less valuable metals into gold, to find a universal cure for disease, and to discover a means of prolonging life indefinitely is called alchemy. It was practiced in much of the ancient world, from China and India to Greece. Alchemy migrated to Egypt and was later revived in 12th-century Europe through translations of Arabic texts into Latin. Medieval European alchemists made some useful discoveries, including mineral acids and alcohol. The revival led to the development of pharmacology and to the rise of modern chemistry. The gold-making processes of alchemists were finally discredited, but not until the 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of alchemy

Middle English alkamie, alquemie, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French alkimie, from Medieval Latin alchymia, from Arabic al-kīmiyā', from al the + kīmiyā' alchemy, from Late Greek chēmeia


First Known Use: 14th century


ALCHEMY Defined for Kids

alchemy

play
noun al·che·my \ˈal-kə-mē\

Definition of alchemy for Students

  1. :  a science that was used in the Middle Ages with the goal of changing ordinary metals into gold




Medical Dictionary

alchemy

play
noun al·che·my \ˈal-kə-mē\

Medical Definition of alchemy

plural

alchemies

  1. :  the medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy whose aims were the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for diseases, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life

alchemist

\-məst\play noun

alchemistic

\ˌal-kə-ˈmis-tik\play or

alchemistical

\-ti-kəl\play adjective



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