quintessence

[ kwin-tes-uh ns ]
/ kwɪnˈtɛs əns /

noun

the pure and concentrated essence of a substance.
the most perfect embodiment of something.
(in ancient and medieval philosophy) the fifth essence or element, ether, supposed to be the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies, the others being air, fire, earth, and water.

Origin of quintessence

1400–50; Middle English < Medieval Latin quīnta essentia fifth essence

Related forms

quin·tes·sen·tial [kwin-tuh-sen-shuh l] /ˌkwɪn təˈsɛn ʃəl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quintessence

British Dictionary definitions for quintessence

quintessence

/ (kwɪnˈtɛsəns) /

noun

the most typical representation of a quality, state, etc
an extract of a substance containing its principle in its most concentrated form
(in ancient and medieval philosophy) ether, the fifth and highest essence or element after earth, water, air, and fire, which was thought to be the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies and latent in all things

Word Origin for quintessence

C15: via French from Medieval Latin quinta essentia the fifth essence, translation of Greek pemptē ousia
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