alkahest

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Late Latin alcahest, apparently coined by Paracelsus, as pseudo-Arabic.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

alkahest (uncountable)

  1. (now historical) A universal solvent sought by the alchemists. [from 17th c.]
    • 2006, Philip Ball, The Devil's Doctor, Arrow 2007, p. 267:
      This perspective stimulated the alchemical quest for a ‘universal solvent’, that would dissolve and homogenize all substances – a solvent that Paracelsus named the alkahest.