Alchymie – Definition & Meaning


Alchymie, also known as alchemy, is a term that has been used for centuries to describe a range of practices and beliefs related to the transformation of matter. It has been associated with everything from the creation of gold to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of alchymie, its origin, and its various associations.


The term alchymie has been defined in many different ways over the years. Some have described it as a form of magic, while others have seen it as a precursor to modern chemistry. At its core, however, alchymie is a philosophy that seeks to transform the physical world through the manipulation of matter and energy.


The origins of alchymie can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Greece. The practice spread throughout the Middle East and Europe during the medieval period, and it was during this time that many of the key texts and ideas associated with alchymie were developed.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of alchymie can vary depending on the dictionary consulted. Some define it as a form of chemistry, while others see it as a mystical or spiritual practice. The Oxford English Dictionary, for example, defines alchemy as “the 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.”


Alchymie has been associated with a wide range of beliefs and practices over the centuries. Some have seen it as a way to achieve spiritual enlightenment, while others have focused on its potential for creating wealth and power through the creation of gold. In modern times, alchymie has been associated with alternative medicine and healing practices.


There are many synonyms for alchymie, including alchemy, transmutation, transformation, and metamorphosis. Each of these terms captures a different aspect of the practice, from its focus on changing matter to its potential for personal growth and transformation.


There are no true antonyms for alchymie, as it is a complex and multifaceted practice that defies simple categorization. However, some might see modern science as an antonym to alchymie, as it focuses more on empirical observation and experimentation than on mystical or spiritual beliefs.

The same root words

The word alchymie has its roots in the Greek word khemia, which means “the art of transmutation.” This word was later adapted by Arabic alchemists as al-kimiya, which was then borrowed by medieval Europeans as alchymie.

Example Sentences

  • Many ancient alchemists believed that the transmutation of matter could lead to spiritual enlightenment.
  • Some modern practitioners of alchymie use it as a form of alternative medicine, focusing on the transformation of energy within the body.
  • The alchymie of the medieval period was often associated with the creation of gold and other precious metals.
  • The alchymie of the ancient Egyptians was focused on the transmutation of base metals into gold.

Alchymie is a complex and multifaceted practice that has been associated with everything from the creation of gold to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Greece, and it has evolved over the centuries to incorporate a wide range of beliefs and practices. Whether seen as a form of magic, a precursor to modern chemistry, or a path to personal growth and transformation, alchymie remains a fascinating and enduring subject of study.

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