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alcahest

[al-kuh-hest]
noun
  1. alkahest.
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alkahest

or al·ca·hest

[al-kuh-hest]
noun
  1. the universal solvent sought by the alchemists.
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Origin of alkahest

First recorded in 1635–45, alkahest is from the late Medieval Latin word alchahest; probably coinage of Paracelsus
Related formsal·ka·hes·tic, al·ka·hes·ti·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for alcahest

Historical Examples of alcahest

  • Alkahest, Alcahest, al′ka-hest, n. the universal solvent of the alchemists.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)

    Various

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for alcahest

alcahest

noun
  1. a variant spelling of alkahest
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alkahest

alcahest

noun
  1. the hypothetical universal solvent sought by alchemists
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Word Origin for alkahest

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

alkahest

n.

"universal solvent sought by alchemists," 1640s, from French alcahest, from Medieval Latin alcahest, a pseudo-Arabic word coined by Paracelsus (see alchemy).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper