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 (ousía, “being”), from ὤν (ṓn), present participle of εἰμί (eimí, “I am, exist”).
essence (plural essences)
- The inherent nature of a thing or idea.
- The laws are at present, both in form and essence, the greatest curse that society labours under.
- Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence of this virtue [charity].
- The essence of Addison's humour is irony.
- (philosophy) The true nature of anything, not accidental or illusory.
- Constituent substance.
- Uncompounded is their essence pure.
- A being; especially, a purely spiritual being.
- As far as gods and heavenly essences / Can perish.
- Washington Irving
- He had been indulging in fanciful speculations on spiritual essences, until […] he had an ideal world of his own around him.
- A significant feature of something.
- The concentrated form of a plant or drug obtained through a distillation process.
- essence of Jojoba
- Fragrance, a perfume.
- Alexander Pope
- Nor let the essences exhale.
- Alexander Pope
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- essence in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- “essence”, in The Century Dictionary, New York: The Century Co., 1911
From Old French, from Latin essentia. Sense 2 very likely from Latin edō (present infinitive edere or ēsse, perfect active ēdī, supine ēsum); irregular conjugation (eat), in the sense of 'what is eaten, fuel'. Many forms of the latter are indistinguishable from the the former, and so the confusion with 'essence' is very understandable.
essence f (plural essences)