essence
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈɛsəns/
Noun

essence

  1. The inherent nature of a thing or idea.
    • 1713 September 21, Joseph Addison, The Guardian, collected in The Works of the Late Right Honorable Joseph Addison, volume IV, Birmingham: John Baskerville, published 1761, page 263 ↗:
      CHARITY is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands, ſays an old writer. Gifts and alms are the expreſſions, not the eſſence of this virtue.
  2. (philosophy) The true nature of anything, not accidental or illusory.
  3. Constituent substance.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 423–429:
      For Spirits when they pleaſe / Can either Sex aſſume, or both ; ſo ſoft / And uncompounded is their Eſſence pure, / Not ti’d or manacl’d with joynt or limb, / Nor founded on the brittle ſtrength of bones, / Like cumbrous fleſh{{...}
  4. A being; especially, a purely spiritual being.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 132–139:
      And put to proof his high Supremacy, / Whether upheld by ſtrength, or Chance, or Fate, / Too well I ſee and rue the dire event, / That with ſad overthrow and foul defeat / Hath loſt us Heav’n, and all this mighty Hoſt / In horrible deſtruction laid thus low, / As far as Gods and Heav’nly Eſſences / Can Periſh.
  5. A significant feature of something.
  6. The concentrated form of a plant or drug obtained through a distillation process.
    essence of Jojoba
  7. An extract or concentrate obtained from a plant or other matter used for flavouring.
    vanilla essence
  8. Fragrance, a perfume.
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