Alchemy Al"che*my, n. [OF. alkemie, arquemie, F. alchimie, Ar. al-k[=i]m[=i]a, fr. late Gr. ?, for ?, a mingling, infusion, ? juice, liquid, especially as extracted from plants, fr. ? to pour; for chemistry was originally the art of extracting the juices from plants for medicinal purposes. Cf. Sp. alquimia, It. alchimia. Gr. ? is prob. akin to L. fundere to pour, Goth. guitan, AS. ge['o]tan, to pour, and so to E. fuse. See {Fuse}, and cf. {Chemistry}.] 1. An imaginary art which aimed to transmute the baser metals into gold, to find the panacea, or universal remedy for diseases, etc. It led the way to modern chemistry. [1913 Webster]

2. A mixed metal composed mainly of brass, formerly used for various utensils; hence, a trumpet. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. Miraculous power of transmuting something common into something precious. [1913 Webster]

Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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