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alchemy definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: the way two individuals relate to each other; "their chemistry was wrong from the beginning -- they hated each other"; "a mysterious alchemy brought them together" [syn: chemistry, interpersonal chemistry, alchemy]
2: a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English alkamie, alquemie, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French alkimie, from Medieval Latin alchymia, from Arabic al-k?miy?', from al the + k?miy?' alchemy, from Late Greek ch?meia Date: 14th century 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 alchemical also alchemic adjective alchemically adverb

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. -ies) 1 the medieval forerunner of chemistry, esp. seeking to turn base metals into gold or silver. 2 a miraculous transformation or the means of achieving this. Derivatives: alchemic adj. alchemical adj. alchemist n. alchemize v.tr. (also -ise). Etymology: ME f. OF alkemie, alkamie f. med.L alchimia, -emia, f. Arab. alkimiya' f. al the + kimiya' f. Gk khemia, -meia art of transmuting metals

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Alchemy Al"che*my, n. [OF. alkemie, arquemie, F. alchimie, Ar. al-k[=i]m[=i]a, fr. late Gr. ?, for ?, a mingling, infusion, ? juice, liquid, especially as extracted from plants, fr. ? to pour; for chemistry was originally the art of extracting the juices from plants for medicinal purposes. Cf. Sp. alquimia, It. alchimia. Gr. ? is prob. akin to L. fundere to pour, Goth. guitan, AS. ge['o]tan, to pour, and so to E. fuse. See Fuse, and cf. Chemistry.] 1. An imaginary art which aimed to transmute the baser metals into gold, to find the panacea, or universal remedy for diseases, etc. It led the way to modern chemistry. 2. A mixed metal composed mainly of brass, formerly used for various utensils; hence, a trumpet. [Obs.] Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy. --Milton. 3. Miraculous power of transmuting something common into something precious. Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy. --Shak.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Alchemy was a form of chemistry studied in the Middle Ages, which was concerned with trying to discover ways to change ordinary metals into gold.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n.; (also alchymy) Magic, black, art, thaumaturgy.

Moby Thesaurus

about-face, assimilation, assumption, becoming, bewitchery, change, change-over, charm, conversion, divination, enchantment, fetishism, flip-flop, glamour, gramarye, growth, hoodoo, juju, jujuism, lapse, magic, natural magic, naturalization, necromancy, obeah, passage, progress, re-formation, reconversion, reduction, resolution, reversal, rune, shamanism, shift, sorcery, sortilege, spell, spellbinding, spellcasting, switch, switch-over, sympathetic magic, thaumaturgia, thaumaturgics, thaumaturgism, thaumaturgy, theurgy, transformation, transit, transition, turning into, vampirism, volte-face, voodoo, voodooism, wanga, white magic, witchcraft, witchery, witchwork, wizardry

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