English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
, borrowed from Middle English , from Middle French Medieval Latin quinta essentia ( “ fifth essence, aether ” ). "Essence" in this context is a synonym for "element". In pre-atomic/ Aristotlean theory, there are four known elements or essences — Earth, Air, Fire and Water — and a putative fifth element (aether), which is considered to be of exceptional superior quality to the other four basic elements.
Pronunciation [ edit ]
enPR: kwĭn-tĕsʹ-əns, kwĭn-tĕsʹ-ĭns, IPA (: key) /kwɪn.ˈtɛs.əns/, /kwɪn.ˈtɛs.ɨns/
quintessence ( , countable and uncountable plural )
A thing that is the most
perfect example of its type; the most perfect embodiment of something; epitome, prototype.
Synonyms: see Thesaurus: model 1837 Thomas Carlyle,
The French Revolution: A History As families and kindreds sometimes do; producing, after long ages of unnoted notability, some living quintescence of all the qualities they had, to flame forth as a man world-noted[.] A
Synonyms: see Thesaurus: non-mixture (Can we add an example for this sense?) The
essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form.
Synonyms: see Thesaurus: gist 1667, John Milton, “ Book VII”, in , London: Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books [ … ] [ Samuel Simmons], [ … ] , ; republished as OCLC 228722708 Paradise Lost in Ten Books:, London: Basil Montagu Pickering [ … ] [ … ] , 1873, , lines 243–245: OCLC 230729554 Let ther be Light, ſaid God, and forthwith Light, / Ethereal, firſt of things, quinteſſence pure, / Sprung from the Deep, [...]
( alchemy ) The fifth alchemical element, or essence, after earth, air, fire, and water that fills the universe beyond the terrestrial sphere.
Synonym: aether ( physics ) A hypothetical form of dark energy postulated to explain observations of an accelerating universe.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
most perfect example of its type
essence in its most pure and concentrated form
alchemy: fifth alchemical element
— see aether
physics: hypothetical form of dark energy
quintessence ( third-person singular simple present , quintessences present participle , quintessencing simple past and past participle )
( transitive ) To reduce to its purest and most concentrated essence.
References [ edit ]
Pronunciation [ edit ]
quintessence ( f plural )
quintessence (all senses)
Further reading [ edit ]