quintessence


quin·tes·sence

noun \kwin-ˈte-sən(t)s\

Definition of QUINTESSENCE

1
:  the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies
2
:  the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form
3
:  the most typical example or representative <the quintessence of calm>
quin·tes·sen·tial \ˌkwin-tə-ˈsen(t)-shəl\ adjective
quin·tes·sen·tial·ly adverb

Examples of QUINTESSENCE

  1. <the Parthenon in Greece was considered the quintessence of the perfectly proportioned building>
  2. <a selfless desire to help others is the quintessence of the virtue of charity>

Origin of QUINTESSENCE

Middle English, from Middle French quinte essence, from Medieval Latin quinta essentia, literally, fifth essence
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Philosophy Terms

dialectic, dualism, epistemology, existentialism, metaphysics, ontology, sequitur, solipsism, transcendentalism

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