Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. The pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing.
2. The purest or most typical instance: the quintessence of evil.
3. 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.
4. 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.
[Middle 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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin essentia, essence; see essence.]
1. the most typical representation of a quality, state, etc
2. (Chemistry) an extract of a substance containing its principle in its most concentrated form
3. (Philosophy) (in ancient and medieval philosophy) ether, the fifth and highest essence or element after earth, water, air, and fire, which was thought to be the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies and latent in all things
[C15: via French from Medieval Latin quinta essentia the fifth essence, translation of Greek pemptē ousia]
1. the pure and concentrated essence of a substance.
2. the most perfect embodiment of something.
3. (in ancient and medieval philosophy) the fifth essence or element, ether, supposed to be with air, fire, earth, and water the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies.
[1400–50; Middle English < Medieval Latin quīnta essentia fifth essence]
quin`tes•sen′tial (-təˈsɛn ʃəl) adj.
Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. the fifth essence, of which the heavenly bodies were thought to be made, distinguished from the four elements of ure, air, water, and earth; hence, the most pure essence or most perfect embodiment of a thing or being. — quintessential, adj.See also: Philosophy
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||quintessence - the fifth and highest element after air and earth and fire and water; was believed to be the substance composing all heavenly bodies|
element - one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the physical universe; "the alchemists believed that there were four elements"
|2.||quintessence - the purest and most concentrated essence of something|
essence, heart and soul, inwardness, nitty-gritty, pith, substance, gist, kernel, nub, meat, core, sum, marrow, heart, center, centre - the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience; "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story"
|3.||quintessence - the most typical example or representative of a type|