[ es-se; English es-ee ]


, Latin.
  1. being; existence.


/ ˈɛsɪ /


  1. existence
  2. essential nature; essence

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Word History and Origins

Origin of esse1

C17: from Latin: to be
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Example Sentences

Hc mihi videtur esse posse commodissima & sufficiens narrandorum omnium expositio.

Responderunt omnes sibi hoc satis esse, reliqua sese reiecturos.

Benign respdit pater ipse Membertou neophytos se esse, verum imperarem; in mea potestate esse omnia.

Atque, vt non putaret, hc nobis auctoribus gesta esse, perinde tamen poste in nos affectus fuit quasi credidisset.

Non licet esse vos—It is not lawful for you to exist—was the stern edict of extermination pronounced against the saints.


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More About Esse

What is esse?

Esse refers to existence or essence.

Esse means that something has a physical form or is not imaginary or fictional. It exists, as in During an existential crisis, a man may question life itself and even doubt the esse of reality.

Esse can also mean essence. It is the very nature of something or its defining quality, as in Freedom and choice are the esse of our democracy.

Example: The priest gave a sermon in which he said that humanity’s existence, our esse, is a gift from God.

Where does esse come from?

The first records of the English esse come from around 1600. It comes directly from the Latin esse, meaning “to be.”

Esse is very rarely used in English. In philosophy or theology, esse is sometimes used to discuss deep questions about what it means to actually exist as a person or in discussions of the existence and divinity of God. Outside of that, the word esse is likely to be found in a Latin quote.

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What are some synonyms for esse?

What are some words that share a root or word element with esse

What are some words that often get used in discussing esse?

How is esse used in real life?

Esse is very rarely used. On social media, esse is often used by people quoting (or pretending to quote) philosophers.

Try using esse!

Which of the following words is a synonym of esse?

A. nothingness
B. existence
C. absence
D. void




essay questionEssen