Dictionary.com

essence

[ es-uhns ]
/ ˈɛs əns /
Save This Word!

noun

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Idioms for 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.

Origin of essence

1350–1400; Middle English essencia<Medieval Latin, for Latin essentia.See esse, -ence

OTHER WORDS FROM essence

self-essence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for essence

British Dictionary definitions for essence

essence
/ (ˈɛsəns) /

noun

Word Origin for essence

C14: from Medieval Latin essentia, from Latin: the being (of something), from esse to be
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
FEEDBACK