- the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing.
- a trifling nicety of subtle distinction, as in argument.
Origin of quiddity
Examples from the Web for quiddity
There you indeed appreciate the dead-alive city 'in all its quiddity.'A Day's Tour
Aristotle has thus shown how the Essence or Quiddity (τί ἐστι) may become known in this class of cases.Aristotle
The suchness of being implies a previously existing being and quiddity.Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 1
I think that he is right, and that the profitable study of a man is the study which regards him as an oddity, not a quiddity.Romance
On the next interview Mr. Mumbles, delighted with the report of Quiddity, addressed him with truly dignified solemnity.Forgotten Tales of Long Ago
E. V. Lucas
- philosophy the essential nature of somethingCompare haecceity
- a petty or trifling distinction; quibble
Word Origin and History for quiddity
"a trifling nicety in argument, a quibble," 1530s, from Medieval Latin quidditas "the essence of things," in Scholastic philosophy, "that which distinguishes a thing from other things," literally "whatness," from Latin quid "what," neuter of indefinite pronoun quis "somebody, someone or other" (see who). Sense developed from scholastic disputes over the nature of things. Original classical meaning "real essence or nature of a thing" is attested in English from late 14c.