quiddity was our Word of the Day on 06/29/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of quiddity in a sentence
for all of her quiddities, she is a very wise and generous lady
Rembrandt's genius was his unparalleled ability to render a person's quiddity in a single portrait.
Did You Know?
When it comes to synonyms of "quiddity," the Q's have it. Consider "quintessence," a synonym of the "essence of a thing" sense of "quiddity" (this oldest sense of "quiddity" dates from the 14th century). "Quibble" is a synonym of the "trifling point" sense; that meaning of "quiddity" arose from the subtler points of 16th-century academic arguments. And "quirk," like "quiddity," can refer to a person's eccentricities. Of course, "quiddity" also derives from a "Q" word, the Latin pronoun quis, which is one of two Latin words for "who" (the other is "qui"). "Quid," the neuter form of "quis," gave rise to the Medieval Latin quidditas, which means "essence," a term that was essential to the development of the English "quiddity."
Origin and Etymology of quiddity
Middle English quidite, from Medieval Latin quidditat-, quidditas essence, from Latin quid what, neuter of quis who — more at who
First Known Use: 14th century
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