alchemy


al·che·my

noun \ˈal-kə-mē\

: 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

Full Definition of ALCHEMY

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
:  a power or process of transforming something common into something special
3
:  an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting
al·chem·i·cal \-mi-kəl\ also al·chem·ic \al-ˈke-mik\ adjective
al·chem·i·cal·ly \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ALCHEMY

  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.

Origin 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

Other Occult Terms

augury, censor, invocation, lucidity, metempsychosis, mojo, numinous, preternatural, weird, wraith

al·che·my

noun \ˈal-kə-mē\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural al·che·mies

Medical Definition of ALCHEMY

: 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
al·che·mist \-məst\ noun
al·che·mis·tic \ˌal-kə-ˈmis-tik\ or al·che·mis·ti·cal \-ti-kəl\ adjective

alchemy

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Pseudoscience focused on the attempt to change base metals into gold. Ancient alchemists believed that, under the correct astrological conditions, lead could be “perfected” into gold. They tried to hasten this transformation by heating and refining the metal in a variety of chemical processes, most of which were kept secret. Alchemy was practiced in much of the ancient world, from China and India to Greece. It migrated to Egypt during the Hellenistic period 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 under the influence of Paracelsus and to the rise of modern chemistry. Not until the 19th century were the gold-making processes of alchemists finally discredited.

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