Word of the Week for the week of December 17, 2017



Meaning & Usage

noun A medieval predecessor of chemistry devoted to things such as converting common metals into precious metals, finding a universal solvent (alkahest), and finding a universal remedy for diseases.

noun A mysterious or magical process of transformation.

"Newton believed you could create gold from metal—in fact, some believe that his scandalous alchemical work [...] helped him shape his three laws of gravity."


From Old French and Medieval Latin, from Arabic al-kimiya (the chemistry), from Greek khemeia (transmutation).

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