Dictionary.com

philosophers' stone

or philosopher's stone

Save This Word!

noun Alchemy.

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

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of philosophers' stone

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for philosophers' stone

philosopher's stone

noun

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

Cultural definitions for philosophers' stone

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.
Hate Typos? Get Grammar Coach