- 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 alkahest
The idea of the Alkahest had swept like a conflagration through the building.
It was the only moment for sixteen long years when Balthazar forgot the Alkahest.
Alkahest, Alcahest, al′ka-hest, n. the universal solvent of the alchemists.
She must bring down the spirit of the sun and blend it with her own—for wheat partakes of the alkahest.Child and Country
Will Levington Comfort
Paracelsus, a bold empiric and wild Caballist, asserted that he had discovered it, and called it his 'Alkahest'.The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son
The Earl of Chesterfield
- 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 alkahest
"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