Definition of alkahest in English:

alkahest

noun

(also alcahest)
historical
  • The hypothetical universal solvent sought by alchemists.

    ‘The philosopher's stone, the alcahest and the elixir were names of one and the same thing, and were supposed to accomplish an identical operation.’
    • ‘Alizarin is an orange or red crystalline compound and alkahest is the universal solvent believed by alchemists to exist.’
    • ‘A paradox involving alkahest is that, if it dissolves everything, then it cannot be placed into a container, because it would dissolve the container.’
    • ‘They called that unknown liquid the alkahest. Alkahest was a word made up by the sixteenth-century alchemist Paracelsus.’

Pronunciation

alkahest

/ˈalkəˌhest/ /ˈælkəˌhɛst/

Origin

Mid 17th century sham Arabic, probably invented by Paracelsus.