[kwin-tuh-sen-shuh l]


of the pure and essential essence of something: the quintessential Jewish delicatessen.
of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something: the quintessential performance of the Brandenburg Concertos.

Related formsquin·tes·sen·tial·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for quintessential

ultimate, typical, classic, ideal

Examples from the Web for quintessential

Contemporary Examples of quintessential

Historical Examples of quintessential

  • Where the notion of doing so is simply ludicrous, you have quintessential poetry.

  • A quintessential drop of intellect is apt to be in poetic blood.

  • You were sixteen then, and the effect as you came into the room was quintessential.

  • But after he has made them quintessential of a class, he must be careful also to individualize them.

  • Then turning after a moment's silence to the girl, "What says our Quintessential Stone to this?"

    The Long Night

    Stanley Weyman

British Dictionary definitions for quintessential



most typically representative of a quality, state, etc; perfect
Derived Formsquintessentially, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for quintessential

c.1600, "purest, most refined," from quintessence (Medieval Latin quint essentia) + -al (1). Related: Quintessentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper