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Definition of ALCHEMY
: 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
: a power or process of transforming something common into something special
: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting
— al·chem·i·cal\-mi-kəl\ also al·chem·ic\al-ˈke-mik\adjective
She practiced her alchemy in the kitchen, turning a pile of vegetables into a delicious salad.
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
: 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
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.