[ es-se; English es-ee ]
/ ˈɛs sɛ; English ˈɛs i /

noun Latin.

being; existence.



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Question 1 of 10

Definition for esse (2 of 5)

ab esse
[ ahb-es-se; English ab-es-ee ]
/ ɑbˈɛs sɛ; English æbˈɛs i /

adjective Latin.

Definition for esse (3 of 5)

in esse
[ in es-e; English in es-ee ]
/ ɪn ˈɛs ɛ; English ɪn ˈɛs i /

adverb, adjective Latin.

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

Definition for esse (4 of 5)

de bene esse
[ di bee-nee es-ee, dee, dey bey-ney es-ey ]
/ dɪ ˈbi ni ˈɛs i, di, deɪ ˈbeɪ neɪ ˈɛs eɪ /

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

Definition for esse (5 of 5)

esse quam videri
[ es-se kwahm wi-de-ree; English es-ee kwam vi-dair-ahy ]
/ ˈɛs sɛ kwɑm ˈwɪ dɛ ri; English ˈɛs i kwæm vɪˈdɛər aɪ /


to be rather than to seem: motto of North Carolina. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for esse

British Dictionary definitions for esse (1 of 2)

/ (ˈɛsɪ) /

noun philosophy

essential nature; essence

Word Origin for esse

C17: from Latin: to be

British Dictionary definitions for esse (2 of 2)

in esse
/ (ɪn ˈɛsɪ) /


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