Etymology: From (term, alkemie, lang=fro), (term, arquemie, lang=fro) (French (term, alchimie, lang=fr)) < (term, alkimia, lang=la) < (Arab.) (term, sc=ARchar, ÙÙÙÙ, ÙÙÙÙÙ, tr=al-kÄmiyÄ", lang=ar) < Ancient Greek (term, sc=polytonic, , lang=grc) or (term, sc=polytonic, , tr=chÄmeia or chymeia, lang=grc) originally "a mingling, infusion, juice, liquid, especially as extracted from plants" and later "alchemy" < perhaps both (term, sc=polytonic, , tr=ChÄmia, , black earth (ancient name for Egypt), lang=grc) and (term, sc=polytonic, , lang=grc, tr=chymos, , juice, sap). (Compare Spanish (term, alquimia, lang=es) and Italian (term, alchimia, lang=it)).
- (obsolete) Chemistry and in particular pharmaceutical chemistry (as practised in the Middle Ages); searching for a panacea.
- The speculative medieval philosophical art of changing objects from one element into another, principally (historically) attempting to turn lead and other base metals into gold; pseudo-science.
- The causing of any sort of mysterious sudden transmutation.
- (context, computing, slang) Any elaborate transformation process or algorithm.
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Full Definition of alchemy