Definition of alkahest in English:

alkahest

(also alcahest)

noun

historical
  • The hypothetical universal solvent sought by alchemists.

    • ‘The philosopher's stone, the alcahest and the elixir were names of one and the same thing, and were supposed to accomplish an identical operation.’
    • ‘A paradox involving alkahest is that, if it dissolves everything, then it cannot be placed into a container, because it would dissolve the container.’
    • ‘They called that unknown liquid the alkahest. Alkahest was a word made up by the sixteenth-century alchemist Paracelsus.’
    • ‘Alizarin is an orange or red crystalline compound and alkahest is the universal solvent believed by alchemists to exist.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: sham Arabic, probably invented by Paracelsus.

Pronunciation:

alkahest

/ˈalkəˌhest/