Definition of alchemy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈalkəmē/


1The medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir.
Example sentences
  • Like astrology, knowledge of alchemy filtered into medieval Europe through Moorish centres of learning in Spain.
  • But it no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class.
  • A further compilation of ancient texts concerning astrology, magic and alchemy was the Hermetica, written in Alexandria around 100 AD.
magic, sorcery, witchcraft
1.1A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination: finding the person who’s right for you requires a very subtle alchemy
More example sentences
  • But Carruth manages a rare alchemy by combining an intricate plot and technology that's both specific and vague enough to seem plausible.
  • Breaking the water into V-shaped ripples, the dories achieve a visual alchemy seen nowhere else.
  • The elements of the alchemy that turned the Kings into a postseason success story have to be in place again if they are to build on their spring fling.



Pronunciation: /alˈkemik/
Example sentences
  • In conjunction with the human voices on the soundtrack, the video installation indexes life as a process in between solidity and liquidity, in exchange and alchemic reaction.
  • It is interesting that two centuries ago, when science was evolving past the alchemic level, scientists thought that it wouldn't be long before all the mysteries of the universe would be uncovered.
  • With a fine and deft delicacy, nature and landscape are imbued with a soft surrealism, edging towards an alchemic, almost spiritual symbolism.


Pronunciation: /alˈkemikəl/
Example sentences
  • For instance, Charles II of England attempted transmutations and even Sir Isaac Newton spent considerable time decoding alchemical books.
  • However, the real goal of alchemical work is not to obtain material gold, but spiritual gold: a state of enormous power, clarity, and purity.
  • I love that I can do these intense things to people's bodies, and somehow, through some alchemical transformation, it's not a bad thing.


Pronunciation: /ˈalkəˌmīz/
Example sentences
  • Certainly the most English playwright, if by that we mean the dramatist who observes the manners and rancor of the quiet middle class and alchemizes them into delicious and troubling comedy.
  • The act of writing down a personal thought alchemizes it into reality.
  • A world, of the 30s and the 80s, alchemized in a few words.


Late Middle English: via Old French and medieval Latin from Arabic alkīmiyā', from al 'the' + kīmiyā' (from Greek khēmia, khēmeia 'art of transmuting metals').

  • chemist from Late Middle English:

    The word alchemy (Late Middle English) was a medieval science that looked to transform matter, in particular to convert base metals into gold or find a universal ‘elixir of life’. It was the medieval equivalent of chemistry, and was also the origin of the word. Alchemy came via Old French and medieval Latin from Arabic al-kīmiyā, which was from Greek khēmia ‘the art of transforming metals’. See also elixir

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: al·che·my

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