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Essence



Es"sence (?), n. [F. essence, L. essentia, formed as if fr. a p. pr. of esse to be.]



1. The constituent elementary notions which constitute a complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it; sometimes called the nominal essence.

The constituent elementary notions which constitute a complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it; sometimes called the .

2.
The constituent quality or qualities which belong to any object, or class of objects, or on which they depend for being what they are (distinguished as real essence); the real being, divested of all logical accidents; that quality which constitutes or marks the true nature of anything; distinctive character; hence, virtue or quality of a thing, separated from its grosser parts.

Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence of this virtue [charity]. Addison.
The essence of Addison's humor is irony. Courthope.
3. Constituent substance.

And uncompounded is their essence pure. Milton.
4. A being; esp., a purely spiritual being.

As far as gods and heavenly essences Can perish. Milton.
5. The predominant qualities or virtues of a plant or drug, extracted and refined from grosser matter; or, more strictly, the solution in spirits of wine of a volatile or essential oil; as, the essence of mint, and the like.

The . . . word essence . . . scarcely underwent a more complete transformation when from being the abstract of the verb to be," it came to denote something sufficiently concrete to be inclosed in a glass bottle. J. S. Mill.
6. Perfume; odor; scent; or the volatile matter constituting perfume.

Nor let the essences exhale. Pope.






Source:websters1913dictionary






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