Definition of elixir in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈliksər/


1A magical or medicinal potion: an elixir guaranteed to induce love
More example sentences
  • And, obviously, at this very late stage in the boom, interest rates are certainly not a magical elixir that will cure the patient of disease after years of binging on bubble excess.
  • Shall I then shower you with wondrous remnants of scent from field and forest, and warm you ever so slowly, until you give up your magical elixir, as precious as life itself?
  • But no magical elixir was needed; I was completely under the spell of these people.
1.1A preparation that was supposedly able to change metals into gold, sought by alchemists.
Example sentences
  • As early as the third century, Chinese alchemists used formulations of mercury as elixirs and attempted to transmute other substances into gold to use the gold as an elixir to prolong life.
  • In the Middle Ages, the elixir was an extremely valuable stone sought by alchemists because they believed it had the power to transform common metals into precious ones.
  • Therefore it is said that the engendering of bodhicitta and the carrying of it through one's activities is like the magical elixir that turns to gold what ever metal it is painted on.
1.2 (also elixir of life) A preparation supposedly able to prolong life indefinitely.
Example sentences
  • It sounds like the elixir of life: a wonder drug that promotes youth, slimness and sexual allure at the same time as protecting against heart disease and cancer.
  • Interest rates are the elixir of life for the economy, and last week the Bank of England's monetary policy committee opted to keep them at 4% for the seventh month running.
  • Alchemists spent centuries in search of the real things of power - a stone that turned base metals into gold, the secrets of flight and transmutation and, above all, the elixir of life.
1.3A medicinal solution of a specified type: a natural herbal cough elixir
More example sentences
  • Acetaminophen with codeine elixir is administered for pain control after the initial 48 hours for mild discomfort and is prescribed for home use after discharge.
  • Examples of these name changes include: acetaminophen elixir is now acetaminophen oral solution; and lactulose syrup is now lactulose solution.
  • For more extensive oral ulceration, dexamethasone elixir, 0.5 mg per 5 ml, may be used as a rinse and expectorated.


Late Middle English: via medieval Latin from Arabic al-'iksīr, from al 'the' + 'iksīr from Greek xērion 'powder for drying wounds' (from xēros 'dry').

  • The root of both elixir and Xerox is Greek xēros ‘dry’. Elixir came into English via Arabic al-'iksīr, from Greek xīrion ‘powder for drying wounds’. It was first used in alchemy, as the name of a sought-after preparation that was supposed to change ordinary metals into gold, and one that could prolong life indefinitely (the elixir of life). Xerox, a name for a copying process that uses dry powder, dates from the early 1950s. See also chemist

Words that rhyme with elixir

asphyxia, ixia

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·lix·ir

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