quiddity

[ kwid-i-tee ]
/ ˈkwɪd ɪ ti /

noun, plural quid·di·ties.

Also called what·ness [hwuht-nis, wuht‐] /ˈʰwʌtˌnɪs, ˈwʌt‐/ . the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing.
a trifling nicety of subtle distinction, as in argument.

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Origin of quiddity

First recorded in 1350–1400; from Medieval Latin quidditās, equivalent to Latin quid “what” + -itās noun suffix; see -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for quiddity

British Dictionary definitions for quiddity

quiddity
/ (ˈkwɪdɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

philosophy the essential nature of somethingCompare haecceity
a petty or trifling distinction; quibble

Word Origin for quiddity

C16: from Medieval Latin quidditās, from Latin quid what
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