quintessence

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quin·tes·sence

 (kwĭn-tĕs′əns)
n.
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.]

quintessence

(kwɪnˈtɛsəns)
n
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]

quin•tes•sence

(kwɪnˈtɛs əns)

n.
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.
quin`tes•sen′tial•ly, adv.

quintessence

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
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.quintessence - the fifth and highest element after air and earth and fire and water; was believed to be the substance composing all heavenly bodies
archaicism, archaism - the use of an archaic expression
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
example, instance, illustration, representative - an item of information that is typical of a class or group; "this patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"; "there is an example on page 10"

quintessence

noun
1. epitome, representation, embodiment, type, essence, archetype, exemplar, typical example, personification He was the quintessence of all Eva most deeply loathed.
2. essence, heart, spirit, soul, core, marrow, kernel, gist, distillation, lifeblood, pith the quintessence of civilized culture

quintessence

noun
1. The most central and material part:
Law: gravamen.
2. A basic trait or set of traits that define and establish the character of something:
Translations

quintessence

[kwɪnˈtesns] Nquintaesencia f

quintessence

n (Philos, fig) → Quintessenz f; (= embodiment)Inbegriff m

quintessence

[kwɪnˈtɛsns] n (frm) → quintessenza
References in classic literature ?
I saw when at his Word the formless Mass, This worlds material mould, came to a heap: Confusion heard his voice, and wilde uproar Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd; Till at his second bidding darkness fled, Light shon, and order from disorder sprung: Swift to thir several Quarters hasted then The cumbrous Elements, Earth, Flood, Aire, Fire, And this Ethereal quintessence of Heav'n Flew upward, spirited with various forms, That rowld orbicular, and turnd to Starrs Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Each had his place appointed, each his course, The rest in circuit walles this Universe.
They then posted themselves on the level ground at the outlet of the Sierra, and as soon as Don Quixote and his companions emerged from it the curate began to examine him very deliberately, as though he were striving to recognise him, and after having stared at him for some time he hastened towards him with open arms exclaiming, "A happy meeting with the mirror of chivalry, my worthy compatriot Don Quixote of La Mancha, the flower and cream of high breeding, the protection and relief of the distressed, the quintessence of knights-errant
The huge and unmeaning glass chandeliers, prism-cut, gas-lighted, and without shade, which dangle in our most fashionable drawing-rooms, may be cited as the quintessence of all that is false in taste or preposterous in folly.