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[ih-lik-ser] /ɪˈlɪk sər/
Pharmacology. a sweetened, aromatic solution of alcohol and water containing, or used as a vehicle for, medicinal substances.
Also called elixir of life. an alchemic preparation formerly believed to be capable of prolonging life.
an alchemic preparation formerly believed to be capable of transmuting base metals into gold.
the quintessence or absolute embodiment of anything.
a panacea; cure-all; sovereign remedy.
Origin of elixir
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin < Arabic al iksīr alchemical preparation < Late Greek xḗrion drying powder (for wounds), equivalent to Greek xēr(ós) dry + -ion, neuter of -ios adj. suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for elixir
  • Its heroes are vain, brave and consumed by the heady elixir of violence and the dark night of bereavement.
  • But it's the handful of intrinsic-and collectively unique-properties that explains why water is the elixir of life.
  • The search for an elixir of life has taken people to some strange places.
  • Of course science thrives on a powerful elixir of optimism and challenge.
  • Free trade so enabled is the promised elixir for the woes of developing nations.
  • He works at a podiatrist's clinic and one day attempts suicide by quaffing a whole bottle of a weight-loss elixir.
  • The evidence is conflicting, but to date it does not indicate green tea is a panacea or the elixir many believe it to be.
  • Their prescription is not a sugar-coated elixir but a purgative tonic.
  • What the enchanted elixir was to the sight of the body, language is to the sight of the imagination.
  • Nor is technology the instant elixir it is sometimes considered to be.
British Dictionary definitions for elixir


an alchemical preparation supposed to be capable of prolonging life indefinitely (elixir of life) or of transmuting base metals into gold
anything that purports to be a sovereign remedy; panacea
an underlying principle; quintessence
a liquid containing a medicinal drug with syrup, glycerine, or alcohol added to mask its unpleasant taste
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin, from Arabic al iksīr the elixir, probably from Greek xērion powder used for drying wounds, from xēros dry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elixir

mid-13c., from Medieval Latin elixir "philosopher's stone," believed by alchemists to transmute baser metals into gold and/or to cure diseases and prolong life, from Arabic al-iksir, probably from late Greek xerion "powder for drying wounds," from xeros "dry" (see xerasia). General sense of "strong tonic" is 1590s; used for quack medicines from at least 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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elixir in Medicine

elixir e·lix·ir (ĭ-lĭk'sər)
A sweetened aromatic solution of alcohol and water, serving as a vehicle for medicine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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