- The definition of alchemy is a type of science and philosophy from the Middle Ages which attempted to perform successful experiments of the unusual, such as trying to make gold from metals.
- An example of alchemy are the scientists of the Middle Ages who tried to discover a way to use metals such as mercury and sulfur – to make interesting combinations and attempt to turn them into gold.
- An example of alchemy are the scientists of today who use lasers in order to change aluminum and other metals to black, red, or a variety of other colors.
- Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained.
- An example of using alchemy is a person who takes a pile of scrap metal and turns it into beautiful art.
- When watching a movie and a wizard turns a toad into a beautiful woman, it is an example of alchemy.
An old book of alchemy.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- an early form of chemistry, with philosophic and magical associations, studied in the Middle Ages: its chief aims were to change base metals into gold and to discover the elixir of perpetual youth
- a power or process of changing one thing into another; esp., a seemingly miraculous power or process of changing a thing into something better
Origin: Middle English alchymie ; from Old French alchimie ; from Midieval Latin alchemia ; from Arabic al-kīmiyāʾ ; from Classical Greek chēmeia ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Chēmia, old name for Egyptian ; from Egyptian kmt, literally , black (land); influenced, influence by folk-etym. associated, association with Classical Greek cheein, to pour: see found
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- A medieval chemical philosophy having as its asserted aims the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of the panacea, and the preparation of the elixir of longevity.
- A seemingly magical power or process of transmuting: “He wondered by what alchemy it was changed, so that what sickened him one hour, maddened him with hunger the next” (Marjorie K. Rawlings).
Origin: Middle English alkamie, from Old French alquemie, from Medieval Latin alchymia, from Arabic al-kīmiyā’ : al-, the + kīmiyā’, chemistry (from Late Greek khēmeia, khumeia, perhaps from Greek Khēmia, Egypt).
- al·chemˈi·cal , al·chemˈic adjective
- al·chemˈi·cal·ly adverb
alchemy - Ologies & -Isms Definition
See also magic.arcanum the secret of life; a great elixir or remedy sought by the alchemists. See also knowledge. elixir 1. the hypothetical substance sought by alchemists that was believed to transform base metals into gold and give eternal life. Also called philosopher’s stone, elixir of life. 2. Rare. the quintessence or underlying principle. See also remedies. Hermeticism1 1. the occult concepts, ideas, or philosophy set forth in the writings of the hermeticists of the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. 2. adherence to, belief in, or propagation of these concepts and ideas. 3. Literature. a symbolic and arcane style similar to that of the hermeticists, especially in the poetry of certain French symbolist poets. Cf. hermetics. —hermeticist, hermetist, n. —hermetic, hermetical, adj. hermeticism 1. the ideas or beliefs set forth in the writings of Hermes Trismegistus. 2. adherence to these ideas and beliefs. hermetics the occult sciences, especially alchemy. Cf. Hermeticism1. —hermetist, n. —hermetic, hermetical, adj. iatrochemistry 1. originally, alchemy devoted to medicinal purposes, especially the alchemy of the period 1525-1660, influenced by the theories of Paracelsus. 2. currently, chemistry for healing purposes. —iatrochemist, n. spagyrist an alchemist. transmutation the process or act of change, especially from one thing to another, as the change from base metal to gold, pursued by the alchemists. —transmutationist, n. —transmutative, adj. transmutationist an alchemist who believed that, in one of several ways, it was possible to change less valuable elements into silver or gold.
alchemy - Computer Definition
An early, unscientific form of chemistry practiced in the Middle Ages with aims including turning base metals into gold and discovering the elixir of perpetual youth, a universal cure for disease, and a universal solvent. Many alchemists were intelligent, well-meaning men and even distinguished scientists. Sir Isaac Newton, for example, was an alchemist. Pair-gain technologies such as ADSL do not involve alchemy, although sometimes they are characterized as turning copper into gold. See also pair-gain.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
alchemy - Cultural Definition
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.
- The search for the philosopher's stone that would change lead and other base metals into gold was part of alchemy.
- Today, alchemy is associated with wizards, magic, and the search for arcane knowledge.
alchemy - Science Definition
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