Definition of alchemy in English:

alchemy

noun

mass noun
  • 1The medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.

    ‘occult sciences, such as alchemy and astrology’
    • ‘The symbolism is not accidental: the importance of the sun in astrology clearly parallels the exalted position of gold in alchemy.’
    • ‘Green Magick uses more trees and plants, while Red Magick uses alchemy and astrology for its references.’
    • ‘Like astrology, knowledge of alchemy filtered into medieval Europe through Moorish centres of learning in Spain.’
    • ‘This Kristo's horoscope site had some interesting stuff on it that I want to come back and check out, about dreams, astrology, alchemy, intuition and some other junk.’
    • ‘Now, Gilles was a practitioner of alchemy and attempted to find the infamous philosopher's [philosophers] stone.’
    • ‘In addition, the authors offer the psychology of miracles, alchemy, ESP, Nazi occultism, Gnosticism and UFOs as instruments of alternative belief in modern times.’
    • ‘A further compilation of ancient texts concerning astrology, magic and alchemy was the Hermetica, written in Alexandria around 100 AD.’
    • ‘Newton devoted long years of research to the ancient mysteries of alchemy and how base metals could be turned into gold.’
    • ‘Witness their enthusiasm for UFOs as opposed to scientific cosmology, for alchemy instead of chemistry, for urban legends instead of hard news.’
    • ‘Treatises on mathematics, music, astronomy, alchemy, medicine, jurisprudence, as well as studies on Athenian judicial terminology and on the topography of Athens. [5.]’
    • ‘The Goddess also figures prominently in alchemy in its concern with primal matter, the primal matrix from which all else may be transmuted.’
    • ‘A true military intellectual, he gave expression to the ideas of the late humanists and was an enthusiastic student of the occult, alchemy, and natural magic.’
    • ‘In fact, we now know that Newton was in many ways a Renaissance man, working in theology, prophecy, and alchemy, as well as mathematics, optics, and physics.’
    • ‘Although it had led to the discovery of alcohol and the mineral acids, historians of chemistry view alchemy in general as fraudulent.’
    • ‘The idea of transmutation through alchemy was one that was taken quite seriously and Dee was granted special rights far beyond someone of his standing.’
    • ‘His interests extended to an enthusiastic study of mathematics, the natural sciences, and studies of alchemy and natural magic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ashmole was fascinated by magic, alchemy and astrology, and befriended many astrologers regardless of political allegiance.’
    • ‘Even doctors got their start in witchcraft - using alchemy, spiritual healing, and healing by deities.’
    • ‘Voodoo, science, witchcraft, animal spirits, chemistry, alchemy, fairies, physics - it's all the same.’
    chemistry
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
      ‘finding the person who's right for you requires a very subtle alchemy’
      • ‘Played out in the corridors of Connaught Place and Kolkata, the story captures the alienation and fragmented reality of urban life through an imaginative alchemy of text and image.’
      • ‘He uses everything from chemicals to computers to achieve his effects; but his processes really seem a kind of alchemy or magical transformation, awakening swaths of cloth to the play of the body.’
      • ‘At first, this may seem as magical as the fabled alchemy that could turn any substance to gold.’
      • ‘But it failed to perform the alchemy of transforming the receipt of a dividend from the company into the receipt of a capital sum from someone else.’
      • ‘As Shakespeare, in Julius Caesar, reminded us, the evil that men do lives after them, and, try as we might, we cannot always find the alchemy to make the painful consequences of that evil go away.’
      • ‘She entered the dance field by default, she says, because ‘dance seemed like a good alchemy between movement and creation.’’
      • ‘A transaction designed to achieve that fiscal alchemy is not a trading transaction.’
      • ‘He hewed to his original self-conception with unrepentant ferocity, engaging in a type of human alchemy, changing himself into an imaginary creature who lived in place of the ordinary man.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By a single act of accounting alchemy, the company transformed its indebtedness into over a billion dollars of golden profit.’
      • ‘Having fun here was a result of alchemy - mixing forced politeness with the mental game of ‘now I got you.’’
      • ‘By her personal alchemy, she changed the leaden show into a golden evening of pleasure.’
      • ‘Why, then, do I finally feel that the novel fails to cohere, that the novelist's alchemy does not transform all these wonderful ingredients into a golden artifact?’
      • ‘So, through the process of the alchemy of our planet, the black coal is compressed into the multifaceted crystal that shines the colors of black through its [it's] prism.’
      • ‘Before dozens of Scottish chairmen phone the ground's switchboard to discover the secret of this apparent alchemy, they should realise Luton will gain nothing from the day except the fee for the rent of their pitch.’
      • ‘These resources have shown more resistance to time and, although the alchemy may seem difficult, its results are richer.’
      • ‘Thanks to the process of reverse alchemy performed by the previous management, it is now worth less than it would cost to sell.’
      • ‘What intrigues me about the metaphor of alchemy is the importance it places on the process of transformation.’
      • ‘Theatre is a place of alchemy where base metal can often be turned into gold.’
      • ‘Digestion is alchemy in reverse, with all manner of treasures ultimately being reduced to base material.’
      • ‘The very greatest pianists possess, by some alchemy which combines technique with some unknown elements, a personal sound which is easily recognizable.’
      • ‘Everyone who plays has gotten to that point - that's when you understand the alchemy of the game.’
      • ‘Well, we actually have a list of concerns, but for this discussion there is a key aspect of this seemingly wonderful alchemy that needs to be highlighted: derivatives.’
      • ‘As she explained it, ‘The artistry of the kitchen appealed to me as much as the alchemy.’’
      • ‘The alchemy of stage and screen can transform books and introduce them to new audiences.’
      • ‘But it would be a mistake to dismiss this as an event of no significance involving a couple of maverick Tory MPs. For a strange alchemy has been wrought within the ranks of British conservatism.’
      • ‘The 43-year-old, mentored by Sir Alex Ferguson, has achieved an unlikely alchemy.’
      • ‘What is striking is the creative alchemy that transforms authentic personal experiences into imaginative tales.’
      • ‘Where he had consistently been able to pull off the magical alchemy that produced increased public spending and tax cuts, economic growth and falling interest rates, he now had to admit he had got things wrong.’
      • ‘With Eizan, the alchemy of elegance is still alive, and in his best work, properly produced, he can cast a magic glow over the forms of the world and create lightness and grace.’
      • ‘But Carruth manages a rare alchemy by combining an intricate plot and technology that's both specific and vague enough to seem plausible.’
      • ‘A small group of people's raw opinions were transformed through the organisation's alchemy into hard public-health science.’
      • ‘I turned the photograph and looked at it, as though it might have changed through some process of mischief or alchemy.’
      • ‘The whole project depended on the alchemy between Eric and Chris that occurred when Eric's intensity and meticulousness sparked against Chris's charisma and need to be centrestage.’
      • ‘Cash, an intensely introspective son of a mill manager, was obsessed with how the alchemy of class, race, and gender combined to forge the southern character.’
      • ‘Breaking the water into V-shaped ripples, the dories achieve a visual alchemy seen nowhere else.’
      • ‘Though Berridge's approach seems casual, his results are pure alchemy.’
      • ‘Or does it require some sort of creative alchemy - an occurrence as rare as it is mysterious?’
      • ‘It is not easy to identify all the parts of the alchemy, but we definitely have a club ethos, which includes the concept that nobody is bigger than the club.’
      • ‘In an exceptional feat of perverse alchemy he has, during his 22 years in office, changed gold into lead and ruined a once relatively prosperous southern African state.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

alchemy

/ˈalkɪmi/