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PIE word

quintessence +‎ -al


  • Audio (UK):(file)
  • IPA(key): /ˌkwɪntɪˈsɛnʃəl/
  • Audio (US):(file)



quintessential (comparative more quintessential, superlative most quintessential)

  1. Of the nature of a quintessence (in all senses); being or relating to the ultimate essence of something.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Krogan: Biology Codex entry:
      The krogan evolved in a lethal ecology. Over millions of years, the grim struggle to survive larger predators, virulent disease, and resource scarcity on their homeworld, Tuchanka, turned the lizards into quintessential survivors.
    • 2014 May 6, Nicholas Shakespeare, “Twin Tracks by Roger Bannister, review: Roger Bannister's memoir of a life in athletics recalls the moment 60 years ago when he broke the four-minute mile [print version: The quiet Englishman, 10 May 2014, p. R26]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1]:
      Twin Tracks is the old-fashioned autobiography of a quintessential Englishman, evocative of an age when you took halibut oil for rickets and sportsmen were amateurs who trained in their lunch breaks.
    • 2021 October 20, Dr Joseph Brennan, “A key part of our diverse railway heritage”, in RAIL, number 942, page 56:
      I live in a quintessential (Australian) building type myself - a high-set 'Queenslander' on Captain Cook's tropical Cape Tribulation coast - and some of the details I love most about it are its Deco influences - [...].

Derived terms






quintessential (plural quintessentials)

  1. The fundamental essence of something.
    • 2013, Léonie J. Rennie, Grady Venville, John Wallace, Knowledge that Counts in a Global Community, page 64:
      A final aspect of the focus argument concerns the potential for integration to highlight the quintessentials of each subject.