One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person skilled in chemistry or (in early use) alchemy; a person who makes chemical investigations; (in later use) a student of chemistry, a chemist. Compare "chemist". Now rare.
2More fully "chemic blue". A dye consisting of a solution of indigo in sulphuric acid; (also) the dark greenish-blue colour produced by this dye. Also called Saxony blue. Now historical and rare.
3Calcium or sodium hypochlorite used as bleach. Compare chemic. Now rare.
Engaged in the study or practice of chemistry or (in early use) alchemy; of or relating to the science of chemistry, or the substances and phenomena associated with it. Also figurative. Now archaic.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Peter Morwyng (d. ?1573), translator. From post-classical Latin chemicus, chimicus (adjective) of or relating to alchemy, chymicus (adjective) of or relating to alchemy, of or relating to chemistry, (noun) alchemist, shortened from alchimicus. Compare Middle French, French chimique, adjective and noun, Catalan químic, adjective, Spanish químico, adjective, Italian chimico, adjective and noun; also German chemisch, † chymisch, † chimisch (adjective) of or relating to chemistry.
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