When a person is a classic example of someone who is polite, this is an example of a person who is thequintessence of good manners.
- in ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth essence, or ultimate substance, of which the heavenly bodies were thought to be composed: distinguished from the four elements (air, fire, water, and earth)
- the pure, concentrated essence of anything
- the most nearly perfect or most typical manifestation of a quality or thing
Origin of quintessenceMiddle English quyntencense ; from Middle French quinte essence ; from Medieval Latin quinta essentia
- The pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing.
- The purest or most typical instance: the quintessence of evil.
- In ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth and highest essence after the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, thought to be the substance of the heavenly bodies and latent in all things.
- A form of dark energy due to a hypothetical scalar field that permeates all space, the energy density of which varies across space and time, in contrast to the cosmological constant.
Origin of quintessenceMiddle English, from Old French quinte essence, fifth essence, from Medieval Latin quīnta essentia (translation of Greek pemptē ousiā) : Latin quīnta, feminine of quīntus, fifth; see penkwe in Indo-European roots + Latin essentia, essence; see essence.
(countable and uncountable, plural quintessences)
- A thing that is the most perfect example of its type; the most perfect embodiment of something.
- A pure substance.
- The essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form.
- (alchemy) The fifth alchemical element, or essence, after earth, air, fire, and water
- (physics) A hypothetical form of dark energy postulated to explain observations of an accelerating universe.
Middle English, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin quinta essentia "fifth essence".