Essence meaning

ĕsəns
Essence is defined as the core nature or most important qualities of a person or thing.

An example of essence is what is captured of someone’s personality in a good photograph.

noun
43
10
A being; especially, a purely spiritual being.
noun
30
12
(philosophy) The true nature of anything, not accidental or illusory.
noun
28
10
Something that exists, especially a spiritual or incorporeal entity.
noun
18
3
The definition of an essence is a concentrated form of a flavor or fragrance.

An example of an essence is the scent of a tropical flower in a vial of oil.

noun
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13
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That which makes something what it is; intrinsic, fundamental nature or most important quality (of something); essential being.
noun
12
2
One that has or shows an abundance of a quality as if highly concentrated.

A neighbor who is the essence of hospitality.

noun
9
7
The most important part or aspect of something.

The essence of her argument is that the policy is wrongheaded.

noun
5
1
Something that is, or exists; entity.
noun
5
1
A significant feature of something.
noun
5
2
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The concentrated form of a plant or drug obtained through a distillation process.
noun
3
0
noun
3
0
Constituent substance.
noun
3
2
​The inherent nature of a thing or idea.
  • Landor.
    The laws are at present, both in form and essence, the greatest curse that society labours under.
  • Addison.
    Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence of this virtue [charity].
  • Courthorpe.
    The essence of Addison's humour is irony.
noun
2
0
in essence
  • By nature; essentially:
    He is in essence a reclusive sort.
idiom
4
0
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of the essence
  • Of the greatest importance; crucial:
    Time is of the essence.
idiom
4
0
in essence
  • essentially
idiom
3
0
of the essence
  • of the greatest importance
idiom
5
0

Origin of essence

  • Middle English essencia French essence both from Latin essentia from esse to be from the presumed present participle essēns *essent- (on the model of differentia difference) (from differēns different-) (present participle of differre to differ) created to translate Greek ousiā (from ousa) (feminine present participle of einai to be) es- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French essence, from Latin essentia (“the being or essence of a thing”), from an artificial formation of esse (“to be”), to translate Ancient Greek οὐσία (ousia, “being”), from ὤν (ōn), present participle of εἰμί (eimi, “I am, exist”).

    From Wiktionary