transmutation

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle French transmutation, or its source, Late Latin transmutationem, from Latin transmutare (to change).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /tɹanzmjuːˈteɪʃn̩/

Noun[edit]

transmutation (plural transmutations)

  1. (obsolete) Change, alteration.
  2. The conversion of one thing into something else; transformation.
  3. (alchemy) Specifically, the supposed transformation of one element into another, especially of a base metal into gold.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 261:
      The transmutation of metals was secondary to the main aim, which was the spiritual transformation of the adept.
  4. (physics) The actual transformation of one element into another by a nuclear reaction.