- the universal solvent sought by the alchemists.
Origin of alkahest
First recorded in 1635–45, alkahest is from the late Medieval Latin word alchahest; probably coinage of Paracelsus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for alcahest
Alkahest, Alcahest, al′ka-hest, n. the universal solvent of the alchemists.
The alcahest was his celebrated universal medicine, and was considered the greatest mystery of all.
It was then placed in a dish and set on fire, and the residue that remained was the alcahest.
Alchemy furnishes the theme for one tale; the protagonist seeks an alcahest, a human victim for his crucible.The Merry-Go-Round
Carl Van Vechten
- a variant spelling of alkahest
- the hypothetical universal solvent sought by alchemists
C17: apparently coined by Paracelsus on the model of Arabic words
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for alcahest
"universal solvent sought by alchemists," 1640s, from French alcahest, from Medieval Latin alcahest, a pseudo-Arabic word coined by Paracelsus (see alchemy).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper