noun Etymology: Middle English essencia, from Latin essentia, from esse to be — more at is Date: 14th century 1. a. the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being b. the individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence <
a painting that captures the essence of the land
c. the properties or attributes by means of which something can be placed in its proper class or identified as being what it is 2. something that exists ; entity 3. a. (1) a volatile substance or constituent (as of perfume) (2) a constituent or derivative possessing the special qualities (as of a plant or drug) in concentrated form; also a preparation of such an essence or a synthetic substitute b. odor, perfume 4. one that possesses or exhibits a quality in abundance as if in concentrated form <
she was the essence of punctuality
5. the most significant element, quality, or aspect of a thing or person <
the essence of the issue

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • essence — [ esɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1130; lat. philos. essentia I ♦ Philos. Ce qui constitue la nature d un être. 1 ♦ Philos. (opposé à accident) Fond de l être, nature intime des choses. ⇒ nature, substance. L essence des choses. L essence humaine. « Nous ne… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Essence — Es sence, n. [F. essence, L. essentia, formed as if fr. a p. pr. of esse to be. See {Is}, and cf. {Entity}.] 1. The constituent elementary notions which constitute a complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it; sometimes called the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • essence — es·sence / es əns/ n 1: the real or ultimate nature of a thing: the properties that make a thing what it is his award is legitimate only so long as it draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement United Steel Workers v. Enterprise… …   Law dictionary

  • essence — Essence. s. f. v. Ce par quoy la chose est ce qu elle est, ce qui constituë la chose. L essence divine. l essence des choses. l essence de l homme est d estre animal raisonnable. ces paroles sont de l essence du sacrement. Essence, signifie parmi …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • essence — ► NOUN 1) the intrinsic nature of something; the quality which determines something s character. 2) an extract or concentrate obtained from a plant or other substance and used for flavouring or scent. ● in essence Cf. ↑in essence ● of the essence …   English terms dictionary

  • essence — late 14c., essencia (respelled late 15c. on French model), from L. essentia being, essence, abstract noun formed in imitation of Gk. ousia being, essence (from on, gen. ontos, prp. of einai to be ), from essent , prp. stem of esse to be, from PIE …   Etymology dictionary

  • essence — [es′əns] n. [ME < OFr & L essentia < esse, to be: for IE base see IS1] 1. something that is, or exists; entity 2. that which makes something what it is; intrinsic, fundamental nature or most important quality (of something); essential being …   English World dictionary

  • essence — [n1] heart, significance aspect, attribute, backbone, base, basis, be all and endall*, being, bottom, bottom line*, burden, caliber, character, chief constituent, constitution, core, crux, element, entity, essentia, essentiality, fiber, form,… …   New thesaurus

  • Essence — Es sence, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Essenced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Essencing}.] To perfume; to scent. Essenced fops. Addison. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Essence — (fr., spr. Essangs), so v.w. Essenz, s.d.; z.B. E. de Mirhane, s.u. Bittermandelöl. E. d Orient (spr. Essangs d Oriang), ein in Chalons fur Saȏne fabricirter Perlenglanz zu Glasperlen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Essence — (franz., spr. āngß ), Essenz (s.d.); E. d Orient, E. de perles, soviel wie Perlenessenz; E. de Mirbane, s. Nitrobenzol …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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