1. A sweetened aromatic solution of alcohol and water, serving as a vehicle for medicine.
a. See philosophers' stone.
b. A substance believed to maintain life indefinitely. Also called elixir of life.
c. A substance or medicine believed to have the power to cure all ills.
3. An underlying principle.
[Middle English, a substance of transmutative properties, from Old French elissir, from Medieval Latin elixir, from Arabic al-'iksīr : al, the + 'iksīr, elixir (probably from Greek xērion, desiccative powder, from xēros, dry).]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.