[es-se; English es-ee]

noun Latin.

being; existence.

ab esse

[ahb-es-se; English ab-es-ee]

adjective Latin.

in esse

[in es-e; English in es-ee]

adverb, adjective Latin.

in being; in actuality; in actual existence (contrasted wiith in posse).

de bene esse

[di bee-nee es-ee, dee, dey bey-ney es-ey]

adverb Law.

of validity for the time being but subject to objection or nullification at a later date; provisionally: to take evidence de bene esse to ensure against its loss.

Origin of de bene esse

First recorded in 1595–1605, de bene esse is from the Medieval Latin word dē bene esse of well-being

esse quam videri

[es-se kwahm wi-de-ree; English es-ee kwam vi-dair-ahy]


to be rather than to seem: motto of North Carolina. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for esse

Historical Examples of esse

  • Before other verbs are declined, it is necessary to learn the verb Esse, to be.

  • I went with Oldershaw, and Twigg and Esse went in the other boats.

    Ben Burton

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • Esse and I watched them anxiously as they disappeared in the gloom.

    Ben Burton

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • I secured a handkerchief round my head, and Esse did the same.

    Ben Burton

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • Hence it is to this Esse, to what we are, that blame and merit must ultimately be attributed.

    The Basis of Morality

    Arthur Schopenhauer

British Dictionary definitions for esse


noun philosophy

essential nature; essence

Word Origin for esse

C17: from Latin: to be

in esse


actually existingCompare in posse

Word Origin for in esse

Latin, literally: in being
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