noun, plural al·che·mies for 2, 3.
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Origin of alchemy
historical usage of alchemy
An older, mostly speculative etymology derives chēmeía from an unrecorded Greek verb chēmeúein “to work in an Egyptian way,” from the Egyptian name for Egypt, Chēmía (Coptic Chēme, Chēmi ) “Black Land” (so called in reference to the dark earth of the Nile Valley).
A more recent etymology considers chymeía to be a native Greek word, ultimately a derivative of the noun chýma “something poured out or flowing out, a liquid, an ingot or bar,” from the verb chéein, cheîn, cheúein “to pour, pour out, gush.” The Greek word originally applied to pharmaceutical chemistry, which was mostly concerned with the mixing and infusion of plant juices; and, indeed, medieval alchemy experiments frequently involved the pouring of liquids.
OTHER WORDS FROM alchemyal·chem·ic [al-kem-ik], /ælˈkɛm ɪk/, al·chem·i·cal, al·che·mis·tic [al-kuh-mis-tik], /ˌæl kəˈmɪs tɪk/, al·che·mis·ti·cal, adjectiveal·chem·i·cal·ly, adverb
Words nearby alchemy
Example sentences from the Web for alchemy
Their work revealed the strange alchemy at work inside the nucleus of an atom.
Pleasantly chewy, it melts easily on the tongue, a seemingly magical alchemy of sugar and protein.Squishy, sweet homemade marshmallows will elevate your s’mores and hot chocolate|Daniela Galarza|January 12, 2021|Washington Post
There are so many scenes — Majella sitting in her late grandmother’s farmhouse, having sex in the storeroom or recalling a batch of drowned kittens — that feel like literary alchemy.
Cheesemaking, mankind’s long-running alchemy of controlled rot, involves transforming perishable milk into something exponentially more complex, long-lasting, and valuable.When specialty cheesemaking becomes a quarantine pastime|By Kat Craddock/Saveur|December 1, 2020|Popular Science
The result should be an earnest historical novel about the brutal struggle for fair wages, but through the alchemy of Walter’s voice, “The Cold Millions” is a work of irresistible characters, harrowing adventures and rip-roaring fun.
We remain constantly curious about what great designers will turn out from their capricious artistic alchemy.
There is a sort of alchemy of the masala in some ways, and that journey is parallel to the emotional journey he takes.
He is also a successful author whose 2005 debut The Alchemy of Desire was published to wide acclaim.
Sarah Norris on the alchemy of being young and literary and finding your way in New York.
What will be the alchemy of Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen DeGeneres this season?
But a doctor Faustus, in his cell littered with books and instruments of alchemy, would love always to have a cat for a companion.Charles Baudelaire, His Life|Thophile Gautier
It is for them to protect themselves from death,—the whole purpose of alchemy lies there, sire.Catherine de' Medici|Honore de Balzac
Among his minor works occurs a treatise on alchemy, which seems to show that he was a devout believer in the science.
But, like so many master-minds of the Middle Ages, he was unable wholly to resist the fascinations of alchemy and astrology.
The earlier alchemists knew nothing of its theosophic doctrines; and the earlier Rosicrucians did not dabble in alchemy.
British Dictionary definitions for alchemy
noun plural -mies
Derived forms of alchemyalchemic (ælˈkɛmɪk), alchemical or alchemistic, adjective
Word Origin for alchemy
Scientific definitions for alchemy
A Closer Look
Because their goals were so unrealistic, and because they had so little success in achieving them, the practitioners of alchemy in the Middle Ages got a reputation as fakers and con artists. But this reputation is not fully deserved. While they never succeeded in turning lead into gold (one of their main goals), they did make discoveries that helped to shape modern chemistry. Alchemists invented early forms of some of the laboratory equipment used today, including beakers, crucibles, filters, and stirring rods. They also discovered and purified a number of chemical elements, including mercury, sulfur, and arsenic. And the methods they developed to separate mixtures and purify compounds by distillation and extraction are still important.
Cultural definitions for alchemy
A science (no longer practiced) that sought to transform one chemical element into another through a combination of magic and primitive chemistry. Alchemy is considered to be the ancestor of modern chemistry.