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alchemy

IPA

How to pronounce alchemy (audio)

Dictionary definition of 'alchemy'

An ancient philosophical and pseudoscientific practice that seeks to transform matter into something more valuable or refined such as gold.
"Alchemy has always held a mysterious allure throughout history."

Detailed meaning of 'alchemy'

It originated in Hellenistic Egypt and spread to the Islamic world, Europe, and Asia. The primary goal of alchemy was to transmute base metals into gold, but it also aimed to discover the philosopher's stone, a mythical substance that could grant immortality and wisdom. Alchemists believed that everything in the universe was composed of a combination of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) and that by manipulating these elements, they could create powerful elixirs, medicines, and even artificial life. Alchemy was often shrouded in secrecy and mysticism, and its practitioners used symbols, rituals, and metaphors to convey their knowledge. Although modern science has discredited many of the claims of alchemy, its legacy can still be seen in the fields of chemistry, medicine, and psychology, and it remains a subject of fascination and study for many historians and philosophers.

History and etymology of 'alchemy'

The noun 'alchemy' has a rich and complex etymological history. It originates from the Arabic word 'al-kīmiyā,' which itself derives from the Greek word 'chēmeía.' The term 'chēmeía' referred to a branch of early chemistry and metallurgy, which included various practices and experiments related to transforming matter, particularly base metals into gold, as well as the search for the elixir of life. In Arabic, 'al-kīmiyā' incorporated these Greek concepts and became associated with mystical and esoteric knowledge. When 'alchemy' entered Medieval Latin, it retained these meanings and encompassed both the practical and spiritual aspects of the discipline. Over time, alchemy evolved into modern chemistry, shedding its more mystical aspects. Still, its historical etymology reflects the complex interplay of Greek, Arabic, and Medieval Latin influences, emphasizing its role as an ancient practice that sought to transform matter into something more valuable or refined, such as gold, while also delving into spiritual and mystical realms.

Example sentences containing 'alchemy'

1. Some argue that cooking is the alchemy of the modern age.
2. In dark rooms, alchemy was thought to unlock secrets of the universe.
3. Alchemy, to some, represents the quest for eternal life.
4. Literature can be the alchemy of the soul, transforming thoughts.
5. While alchemy faded, its spirit lives on in modern chemistry.
6. They found ancient texts on alchemy hidden in the attic.
7. Through alchemy, philosophers hoped to find the philosopher's stone.
8. The blend of spices in her dish was pure culinary alchemy.
9. Magic, alchemy, and science were once entwined disciplines.
10. To him, love was the alchemy that turned pain into passion.
11. Some say the true goal of alchemy was spiritual enlightenment.
12. The library held rare manuscripts on alchemy and its mysteries.
13. Coffee, to me, is the morning's alchemy for the mind.
14. Alchemy's allure was not just gold but the promise of immortality.
15. His tales of alchemy drew curious listeners from all around.
16. The world of alchemy is filled with symbols, codes, and riddles.
17. Alchemy's legacy can still be seen in today's medicinal practices.
18. The alchemy of her voice turned words into haunting melodies.
19. With a dash of alchemy, old tales become new adventures.
20. Alchemy is an ancient practice that seeks to transform base metals into gold.
21. The study of alchemy has a long and fascinating history.
22. Alchemy was once considered a mystical and secretive art.
23. The goal of alchemy was not only to create gold but also to discover the philosopher's stone.
24. Many famous scientists and philosophers dabbled in alchemy, including Isaac Newton.
25. The practice of alchemy involves a deep understanding of the natural world and its processes.
26. Alchemy has influenced many other fields, including medicine and chemistry.
27. The alchemists believed in the power of symbols and mystical rituals to achieve their goals.
28. Some alchemists claimed to have discovered the secret to transmuting metals, but these claims were often exaggerated or fraudulent.
29. Today, alchemy is often studied as a historical curiosity rather than a serious scientific pursuit.
30. Despite its reputation as a pseudoscience, alchemy remains a fascinating and mysterious subject that continues to capture the imagination of many people.

Synonyms

synonym

Quiz categories containing 'alchemy'

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same/different

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Spelling Bee

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