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alchemy (n.)

"中世纪的化学;所谓的将贱金属转化为银或金的科学"(还涉及对通用溶剂、精髓等的追求),14世纪中期,来自古法语 alchimie (14世纪), alquemie (13世纪),来自中世纪拉丁语 alkimia ,来自阿拉伯语 al-kimiya ,来自希腊语 khemeioa (发现于公元前4世纪戴克里先反对"埃及人的旧著作"的法令中),都是"炼金术"的意思,起源不明。

也许来自埃及的一个古老的名字( Khemia ,字面意思是"黑土之地",见于普鲁塔克),或者来自希腊文 khymatos "那是倒出来的",来自 khein "倒",来自PIE根 *gheu- "倒"[Watkins,但Klein引用W. Muss-Arnolt,称之为民间词源]。这个词似乎有两个起源的元素。

Mahn ... concludes, after an elaborate investigation, that Gr. khymeia was probably the original, being first applied to pharmaceutical chemistry, which was chiefly concerned with juices or infusions of plants; that the pursuits of the Alexandrian alchemists were a subsequent development of chemical study, and that the notoriety of these may have caused the name of the art to be popularly associated with the ancient name of Egypt. [OED]

al- 是阿拉伯语定冠词"the"。艺术和名称是阿拉伯人从亚历山大人那里采用的,经阿拉伯西班牙进入欧洲。炼金术是中世纪和近代早期的"化学",既涉及神秘学和自然哲学,又涉及实用化学和冶金学。17世纪以后,严格的科学意义随 chemistryalchemy ,剩下的意义是"追求玄色金属向黄金的嬗变,寻找万能溶剂和灵丹妙药"。

Origin and meaning of alchemy

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Definitions of alchemy from WordNet

alchemy (n.)
the way two individuals relate to each other;
a mysterious alchemy brought them together
Synonyms: chemistry / interpersonal chemistry
alchemy (n.)
a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times;
From wordnet.princeton.edu