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[kwin-tuh-sen-shuh l] /ˌkwɪn təˈsɛn ʃəl/
of the pure and essential essence of something:
the quintessential Jewish delicatessen.
of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something:
the quintessential performance of the Brandenburg Concertos.
Related forms
quintessentially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quintessential
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Where the notion of doing so is simply ludicrous, you have quintessential poetry.

    Poetry for Poetry's Sake A. C. Bradley
  • A quintessential drop of intellect is apt to be in poetic blood.

  • You were sixteen then, and the effect as you came into the room was quintessential.

    Marge Askinforit Barry Pain
  • But after he has made them quintessential of a class, he must be careful also to individualize them.

  • Then turning after a moment's silence to the girl, "What says our quintessential Stone to this?"

    The Long Night Stanley Weyman
British Dictionary definitions for quintessential


most typically representative of a quality, state, etc; perfect
Derived Forms
quintessentially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quintessential

c.1600, "purest, most refined," from quintessence (Medieval Latin quint essentia) + -al (1). Related: Quintessentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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