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 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 ?
This great man, as is well known to all lovers of polite eating, begins at first by setting plain things before his hungry guests, rising afterwards by degrees as their stomachs may be supposed to decrease, to the very quintessence of sauce and spices.
No French writer, however, has moved me so much as the Spanish, for the French are wanting in the humor which endears these, and is the quintessence of their charm.
The quintessence of the torture was, moreover, my own secret.