Definitions for: Essence

[n] a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor
[n] the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience; "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story"
[n] the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
[n] any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted

Webster (1913) Definition: Es"sence, n. [F. essence, L. essentia, formed as if
fr. a p. pr. of esse to be. See Is, and cf. Entity.]
1. The constituent elementary notions which constitute a
complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it;
sometimes called the nominal essence.

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.

The laws are at present, both in form and essence,
the greatest curse that society labors under.

Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence
of this virtue [charity]. --Addison.

The essence of Addison's humor is irony.

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.

He had been indulging in fanciful speculations on
spiritual essences, until . . . he had and ideal
world of his own around him. --W. Irving.

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

Nor let the essences exhale. --Pope.

Es"sence, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Essenced; p. pr. & vb.
n. Essencing.]
To perfume; to scent. ``Essenced fops.'' --Addison.

Synonyms: burden, center, core, core, effect, gist, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, perfume, pith, substance, sum

See Also: cognitive content, cologne, cologne water, content, eau de cologne, eau de toilette, haecceity, hypostasis, import, matter, meaning, mental object, pachouli, patchouli, patchouly, perfumery, potpourri, quiddity, quintessence, rose water, significance, signification, stuff, substance, toilet article, toilet water, toiletries, toiletry

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