philosophers' stone

or philosopher's stone

noun Alchemy.

a substance sought by alchemists that would be capable of transmuting baser metals into gold or silver and of prolonging life.

Origin of philosophers' stone

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for philosopher's stone

cure-all, potion, panacea, medicine, mixture, extract, solution, principle

British Dictionary definitions for philosopher's stone

philosopher's stone


a stone or substance thought by alchemists to be capable of transmuting base metals into gold
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

philosopher's stone in Culture

philosopher's stone

The stone or material that practitioners of alchemy believed capable of changing other metals into gold.


Figuratively, the “philosopher's stone” is a substance thought to be capable of regenerating man spiritually.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.