Thursday, 24th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...
( Noun )
Pronunciation : i-lík-ser
1. a panacea or a quick or magical cure
2. a sweetened solution of a drug in alcohol and water
3. a substance once believed to prolong life indefinitely, or to transform base metals into gold
4. the quintessence or absolute embodiment of anything
14th century - Via medieval Latin - Arabic al-iksir - Greek xÄ“rion - dry powder for treating wounds - xÄ“ros - dry
1266, from Latin elixir - philosopher's stone - believed by alchemists to transmute baser metals into gold and/or to cure diseases and prolong life: From Greek - al-iksir, probably from late Greek - xerion - powder for drying wounds - from xeros - dry. General sense of strong tonic is 1597: used for quack medicines from at least 1631.
cure-all, elixir of life, extract, medicine, mixture, panacea, philosopher's stone, potion, principle, solution, cure, medicament, medication, nostrum, physic, remedy, tincture, tonic, preparation, restorative, tonic, pick-me-up, draught
• The air you breathe is an elixir which prepares you for the unexpected.
• The doctor produced another spoonful of the elixir of life, and gravely repeated his first address to me.
• Like a subtle and mysterious elixir poured into the perishable clay of successive generations, it grows in truth, splendour, and potency with the march of ages.
Go to The A Word A Day Index