quintessence

[ kwin-tes-uh ns ]SEE DEFINITION OF quintessence
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR QUINTESSENCE

To the man of the world they are the quintessence of his own reflections upon life.

"This is the quintessence of my journalism; that is the supreme argument," he said to Antonia.

The law of compensation itself is the quintessence of horse sense.

Adams was a quintessence of Boston, devoured by curiosity to think like Benvenuto.

They are the very breath of democracy; the quintessence of freedom.

But I speak of the cruet sauces, where the quintessence of the sapid is condensed in a phial.

Indeed, study is the first duty of the Jew; it is the quintessence of his religion.

To Robert she always seemed the quintessence of breeding, of aristocracy at their best.

This part of your letter to me is a quintessence of richness.

The Spectator was the quintessence of gossip in an age of gossip and good conversation.

WORD ORIGIN

early 15c., in ancient and medieval philosophy, "pure essence, substance of which the heavenly bodies are composed," literally "fifth essence," from Middle French quinte essence (14c.), from Medieval Latin quinta essentia, from Latin quinta, fem. of quintus "fifth" (see quinque-) + essentia (see Parousia).

A loan-translation of Greek pempte ousia, the "ether" added by Aristotle to the four known elements (water, earth, fire, air) and said to permeate all things. Its extraction was one of the chief goals of alchemy. Sense of "purest essence" (of a situation, character, etc.) is first recorded 1580s.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR QUINTESSENCE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.