the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features: Freedom is the very essence of our democracy.
a substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc., and containing its characteristic properties in concentrated form.
an alcoholic solution of an essential oil; spirit.
a perfume; scent.
Philosophy. the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc.
something that exists, especially a spiritual or immaterial entity.
Idioms about essence
in essence, essentially; at bottom, often despite appearances: For all his bluster, he is in essence a shy person.
of the essence, absolutely essential; critical; crucial: In chess, cool nerves are of the essence.
- self-essence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use essence in a sentence
That is essence – equipping her with what she needs to lead in all areas of her life.ESSENCE Appoints Executive Team To Lead Company’s Strategic Realignment, Innovation Focus And Community Impact | Stephanie Dunivan | February 9, 2021 | Essence.com
Greene is arguing, in essence, that support for the movement is necessarily support for what ensued, certainly a risky position to hold, given the events at the Capitol last month.Greene brings her embrace of false claims back to levels acceptable for her caucus | Philip Bump | February 4, 2021 | Washington Post
In essence, evolved robot designs must manufacture, assemble, and test themselves autonomously, untethered from human oversight.We’re Teaching Robots to Evolve Autonomously—So They Can Adapt to Life Alone on Distant Planets | Emma Hart | February 4, 2021 | Singularity Hub
In essence they guessed their way to finding them, by plugging in combinations of six rational numbers.Tetrahedron Solutions Finally Proved Decades After Computer Search | Kevin Hartnett | February 2, 2021 | Quanta Magazine
In essence, that deal sidesteps the NCAA, which was also dropped from the game’s name in favor of the broader “College Football” moniker.EA Sports revives college football franchise as courts mull NCAA’s stance on amateurism | Mike Hume, Rick Maese | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
Humans spent a long time domesticating cattle, and what they were trying to do, in essence, was de-domesticate them.
They are both viewed in essence like eating Brussels sprouts.
Desert Golfing is the distillation of Angry Birds into its purest essence.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art | Alec Kubas-Meyer | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The essence of what Whitney is to me is a beautiful woman, not a beautiful black woman.Inside the Lifetime Whitney Houston Movie’s Lesbian Lover Storyline | Kevin Fallon | December 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“Injustice is injustice, no matter who it touches,” I told essence Magazine recently.The Post-Brown and Garner Question: Who ‘Deserves’ to Die? | Goldie Taylor | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Whereas Lessard had acted the martinet with MacRae, he took another tack and became the very essence of affability toward me.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
But the West is not in its essence a time problem; there, they can wait—next week—next month.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
No more admirable illustration can be found of the truth that the essence of defence lies in a vigorous local offence.Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
Walter Fetherston was a writer of breathless mystery—but he was the essence of mystery himself.The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
This intention is indeed so necessary that it does not belong to the qualities or attributes of prayer, but to its very essence.Mary, Help of Christians | Various
British Dictionary definitions for essence
the characteristic or intrinsic feature of a thing, which determines its identity; fundamental nature
the most distinctive element of a thing: the essence of a problem
a perfect or complete form of something, esp a person who typifies an abstract quality: he was the essence of gentility
the unchanging and unchangeable nature of something which is necessary to its being the thing it is; its necessary properties: Compare accident (def. 4)
the properties in virtue of which something is called by its name
the nature of something as distinct from, and logically prior to, its existence
theol an immaterial or spiritual entity
the constituent of a plant, usually an oil, alkaloid, or glycoside, that determines its chemical or pharmacological properties
an alcoholic solution of such a substance
a substance, usually a liquid, containing the properties of a plant or foodstuff in concentrated form: vanilla essence
a rare word for perfume
in essence essentially; fundamentally
of the essence indispensable; vitally important
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