Alchemy Definition

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.
American Heritage
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.
Webster's New World
A seemingly magical power or process of transmuting.
American Heritage
A power or process of changing one thing into another; esp., a seemingly miraculous power or process of changing a thing into something better.
Webster's New World

(uncountable) The ancient search for a universal panacea, and of the philosopher's stone, that eventually developed into chemistry.


Other Word Forms of Alchemy



Origin of Alchemy

  • Middle English alkamie from Old French alquemie from Medieval Latin alchymia from Arabic al-kīmiyā’ al- the kīmiyā’ chemistry (from Late Greek khēmeia) (probably alteration of khumeia) (from Greek khein, khu- to pour gheu- in Indo-European roots) ((influenced, owing to the reputation of Egyptian alchemists, by Greek Khēmiā Egypt) (from Egyptian kmt Egypt) (from feminine of km black, in reference to the black soil of the Nile valley))

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French alkimie, arquemie (French alchimie), from Medieval Latin alkimia, from Arabic الكيمياء (al-kīmiyā’), ال (al, “the”) + from Ancient Greek χημεία (khēmeia) or χυμεία (chēmeia or chymeia) originally “a mingling, infusion, juice, liquid, as extracted from gold” and later “alchemy”, perhaps from Χημία (Chēmia, “black earth (ancient name for Egypt)”) and/or χυμός (chymos, “juice, sap”). (Compare Spanish alquimia and Italian alchimia).

    From Wiktionary

Find Similar Words

Find similar words to alchemy using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With